A pancreatic cancer diagnosis can be one of the most devastating discussions of a patient’s life. After receiving a pancreatic cancer diagnosis, patients must endure a lot of changes in their lives to adapt to the condition and commit to their health. Patients will often need to manage severe and painful symptoms, undergo rigorous treatment regimens, and make important decisions regarding care. During this trying time, pancreatic cancer patients and their loved ones are encouraged to take steps to cope with the trials and tribulations of the condition.
Pancreatic Cancer Education
It is important for pancreatic cancer patients and their loved ones to learn as much as possible about the condition. Ongoing education can help simplify the decision-making process so that patients and their families are better equipped to make healthcare decisions. Patients are encouraged to tap into personal and community resources for this valuable knowledge. Doctors and oncologists are always available to provide explanations and clarify any confusion for patients and their loved ones. Organizations like the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and National Cancer Institute also provide extensive information on pancreatic cancer.
Build a Support System
Pancreatic cancer patients should know that they are not alone in their battle. Patients are encouraged to reach out to family, friends, and other loved ones for support. In many cases, loved ones may be overwhelmed or unsure of how they can help. Patients may feel comfort in asking for help even with small tasks, like transportation to healthcare appointments or meal preparation. These small acts of kindness can be beneficial for patients and those who wish to help however they can.
Finding Someone to Talk to
Managing emotions is a critical part of overall wellness. Patients should not feel embarrassed, ashamed, or uncomfortable to talk about their condition with others. Open conversation is encouraged with friends, family, and other loved ones. In some cases, these individuals may have difficulty coping with the diagnosis as well. When this occurs, patients may wish to connect with individuals such as medical social workers, counselors, or religious counselors.
Connect with Other Survivors
Coping with pancreatic cancer may be easier for those who connect with other cancer survivors through support groups. Building relationships with others who have similar experiences can be mentally and emotionally fulfilling for pancreatic cancer patients. The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network can help to connect patients with pancreatic cancer survivors, who may provide email or phone support. Additionally, the American Cancer Society has local chapters which can assist patients in finding support groups in their area.