Sunday, January 13, 2008

How to Care for Someone With Bladder Cancer


Bladder cancer, an abnormal growth on the bladder's lining and sometimes in the surrounding tissue, can be devastating to the patient. He may be experiencing pain, depression, anxiety and other symptoms. It's important to know how to care for someone suffering from this illness.


Difficulty: Moderately Challenging



Step One

Be aware that bladder cancer is most common in older people and in smokers. Quitting smoking can prevent the cancer from reappearing. You may want to broach the subject of smoking cessation with the person for whom you are caring if he is a smoker.

Step Two

Know that, even if a noninvasive tumor is eradicated or an invasive tumor is removed, the patient is still at risk to develop other tumors within the bladder in the future. You may need to remind the patient of recurring appointments and help him or her with transportation to and from these appointments.

Step Three

Help the patient to make better food choices. According to the American Cancer Society, optimal nutrition is essential to maximizing energy and preserving muscle.

Step Four

Regulate pain medications. All medications should be taken at standard intervals so that they don't wear off before another dose is administered, leaving the patient in pain.

Step Five

Join a support group. Spending time with others who are in a caregiver situation can give you insight and some much needed relief from what can be a stressful situation. You can also help your loved one join a bladder cancer patient support group.

Step Six

Be flexible when it comes to meal times. Though a healthy diet is necessary, the patient's appetite may fluctuate greatly, requiring smaller portions.

Step Seven

Keep records of any fluctuations in the cancer patient's condition. These records may help your oncologist track progress or new developments.

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