Sunday, January 13, 2008

How to Live With Bone Cancer


Primary bone cancer (sarcoma) is a form of cancer that begins in the bones. Cancer that begins in another area of the body and spreads to the bones is often called secondary bone cancer. People who have had either type of bone cancer often go on to live productive lives.


Difficulty: Moderately Challenging



Step One

Learn all you can about your cancer and what to expect. You can go to the Web sites of the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute (see "Resources" below) for more information. Understand what to expect in terms of treatment and the changes in your life that may result from treatment (such as hair loss, possible partial removal of limbs or decreased ability to participate in vigorous physical activity).

Step Two

Join a support group. Enlist encouragement and help from your friends and family members. Support groups are often helpful because members can relate to what you are feeling and experiencing. You can find support groups in your area by going to the Web site of the American Cancer Society.

Step Three

Keep up with your follow-up appointments in order to stay in touch with your doctor. Various scans and X-rays will need to be given at the start of the post-treatment period in order to make sure the cancer has been stopped. The frequency of your visits will decrease as time goes on and you are declared to be free from bone cancer.

Step Four

Follow the courses of action prescribed by your oncologist. Depending on the type of cancer, drugs, hormones or antibiotics may need to be given. It is essential that you comply with treatment directives. If you do not understand a treatment or are uncomfortable with it, ask your doctor for more information.

Step Five

Get active as soon as you can. Activity makes most cancer patients feel better. Participate in exercise regularly, take up a hobby and eat healthily. Do not feel you need to overdo things at first. At first, you may not have the ability to perform as you did before, but you will probably feel better as you gradually become more active.

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