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Understanding Cancer -- Diagnosis and Treatment

At-Home Care for Cancer

Relieving side effects of cancer treatment:

After radiation therapy for cancer, be gentle to your skin. Do not scrub it, expose it to sunlight, or wear tight clothing. Aloe vera ointment is gentle and soothing, along with non-irritating lotions or creams, such as vitamin E.

Eat light snacks throughout the day rather than three heavy meals. Try eating food cold or at room temperature to avoid nausea.

If your treatment involves lowering your white blood cell count, avoid people who are ill. Tell your doctor about any fever or unusual symptoms.

Relieving pain:

In addition to taking prescribed medication, try relaxation techniques such as yoga or meditation.

Other tips:

Join a cancer support group.

Get plenty of rest, balanced with light exercise.

Rather than feeling compelled to maintain a "positive attitude," express your emotions honestly. Don't worry if you sometimes feel depressed or afraid: These are normal feelings and legitimate reactions that will not affect your cancer.

Fill your days with activities you enjoy. Reading a good book, listening to music, and talking with friends are surprisingly therapeutic.

Contact the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute for free information about cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and tips for managing cancer symptoms.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Sujana Movva, MD on March 12, 2014
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