Cervical cancer treatment results into causing various side effects and alterations to the patient’s body. The results of treatment show variations as per the individuals. Sometimes the same treatment strategy used for a particular disease condition evolves with different effects. Hence, it is difficult for predicting the outcome and impact of a specific treatment. Therefore, coping-up strategies are adopted to mitigate the treatment’s side effects. Open communication with the expert regarding new signs or symptoms experienced by the patients helps plan ways to manage and relieve these symptoms and side effects effectively. The patients can seek professional therapies for mitigating the adverse emotional impacts during cervical cancer treatment. General physical side effects of each treatment option for early-stage and locally advanced cervical cancer are addressed by adopting supportive or palliative care provided by the healthcare team.
Patients and their families are motivated to communicate with the medical team about their financial concerns. Several services help patients manage such a group of people in treating cervical cancer.
Caregivers play an essential role in caring for a person with cervical cancer. Effective communication of the patient with the healthcare team is maintained regarding the side effects.
Coping-up Treatment for Cervical Cancer
Cervical cancer diagnosis can be overburdening, but you can find ways to cope with stress and uncertainty with time.
Whether chemotherapy or radiotherapy, every cancer treatment has its side effects that can cause changes in the body, either physically or mentally. Any treatment for cancer can cause aftereffects or modifications to the patient’s body and how they feel. People do not encounter the same side effects even though they receive the same treatment because everybody responds differently 1.
Coping with physical side effects of cervical cancer treatment
Communication with your health care team about how you feel is very important, so they know any new side effects or changes in the existing ones. If your health care team knows about how you are feeling, they can help relieve and manage your side effects to make you feel more comfortable and prevent the side effects from worsening.
Sometimes, physical side effects can stay after treatment ends, which are long-term side effects. The side effects that occur months or years after treatment are called late effects. Treatment of long-term side effects and late effects is essential for survivorship care.
Coping with emotional side effects of cervical cancer treatment
After cancer diagnosis, you may experience emotional and social effects that include dealing with difficult emotions, such as sadness, anxiety, anger, or managing your stress level. Sometimes, people find it challenging to convey their feelings to their loved ones. Talking to an oncology social worker, counsellor, or clergy member can help them develop more effective coping methods and talking about cancer 2.
Coping with the stigma of cervical cancer
The cancers that cervical cancer affect sex organs like cervical cancer can be uncomfortable or challenging to discuss. People with different types of cancer, such as testicular, vaginal, penile, and vulvar cancers, can experience embarrassment when talking about these sensitive areas of their bodies. However, this should not stop you from asking and receiving the emotional support you deserve, and your treatment team will not be embarrassed by discussing these issues with you. Your group can help you feel more comfortable talking about this with others.
Because cervical cancer is linked with HPV, patients usually feel that they may not receive much support or help from people around them because they assume that others may think their behavior is the reason behind the disease. Almost all cervical cancers are caused by HPV; it is essential to remember that most genital HPV infections will not lead to cancer. Cervical cancer can affect anyone.
Living with this stigma can make patients experience feelings of guiltiness, embarrassment, hopelessness, ashamed, and isolation. Patients and their families should talk to the health care team if they are affected by these emotions.
Coping with cervical cancer treatment cost
Cervical cancer treatment can be costly. It can become a reason for stress and anxiety for the family and a person with cancer. Cancer cost includes treatment costs and unplanned expenses related to the care. The high medical care cost stops some people from completing their cancer treatment plan, which puts their health and life at risk and can cause higher prices in the future. Patients and their families can talk about financial concerns with a health care team member.
Caring for a loved one with cervical cancer
A caregiver is a person that plays a vital role in taking care of a person with CNS tumours. A family member or friend can be a caregiver providing physical, practical, and emotional support to patients, even if they live far away.
The responsibility of caregivers may include:
- Giving medications
- Providing support and encouragement
- Helping manage symptoms and side effects
- Talking with the health care team
- Assisting with meals
- Coordinating medical appointments
- Providing a ride to and from appointments
- Handling insurance and billing issues
- Helping with household chores
- Taking with your Health care team about the side effects
- Which side effects most likely to happen?
- What can be done to prevent or relieve them?
- When are they likely to happen?
Always make sure to tell your health care team about any side effects that happen during treatment and afterwards, too. Inform them even if you do not think the side effects are severe. This discussion should include the physical, emotional, social, and financial impact of a Cervical Cancer diagnosis.
- 1.Manne SL, Myers-Virtue S, Kashy D, et al. Resilience, Positive Coping, and Quality of Life Among Women Newly Diagnosed With Gynecological Cancers. Cancer Nursing. Published online September 2015:375-382. doi:10.1097/ncc.0000000000000215
- 2.Tugade MM, Fredrickson BL. Resilient Individuals Use Positive Emotions to Bounce Back From Negative Emotional Experiences. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Published online 2004:320-333. doi:10.1037/0022-3522.214.171.1240