Sunday, January 13, 2008

How to Live With Bladder Cancer


When you live with bladder cancer, a disease which results in tumors on the lining of the bladder, you can make the process more bearable by boosting your immunity, managing pain and understanding what treatment options are available to you. Fortunately sufficient resources are available to help you understand more about the disease and make good decisions about your care and life after a diagnosis of bladder cancer.


Difficulty: Challenging



Step One

Identify risk factors that may be applicable to you. Smokers are more at risk for bladder cancer, so you may wish to quit if you are diagnosed with this disease. Drinking plenty of fluids may reduce your risk of a recurrence, and eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables may help as well.

Step Two

Understand all of the support resources available to you. These include groups at your local hospital and elsewhere, your doctor, family members, friends and spiritual counselors.

Step Three

Consider alternative or complementary therapies to manage pain, anxiety or stress or to increase your overall feeling of well-being. Practices such as meditation, acupuncture or yoga may be appealing. Be sure to check with your doctor before beginning any alternate form of therapy to make sure it will not interfere with your treatment.

Step Four

Be conscientious about your follow-up care. You will most likely need to be examined 2 to 4 times a year after you complete initial treatment. You will also probably need to undergo tests to be sure your cancer has not recurred.

Step Five

Make a commitment to healthy eating before, during and after treatment. You may wish to consult a nutritionist for recommendations that go beyond just adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet.

Step Six

Ask your doctor or another healthcare professional for recommendations about a healthy level of exercise to maintain during the various stages of your illness. Appropriate exercise can help alleviate the fatigue often associated with bladder cancer.

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