I HAVE CANCER: I'M PREPARING TO LIVE THROUGH IT THE BEST I CAN
Receiving a cancer diagnosis can be very challenging, and soon after a lot of questions might arise. How do I prepare for the treatments? How do I tell my loved ones? Should I see a pyschologist? Will I be able to continue working? How can I preserve my social and private life? Know that you are not alone through this ordeal; a team of healthcare professionals, pharmacists and therapists are there to support you.
Cancer might bring many changes to your everyday life. Your relationships, family life and work might be affected, and of course there will be physical alterations. Cancer treatments can affect your hair, skin and nails. Some people undergoing cancer treatment will develop skinreactions to some degree with radiotherapy or chemotherapy.
BEFORE YOUR THERAPY BEGINS
Before your therapy begins, take the time to find the right skincare routine to enrich and nurture your skin.Not only will this help to protect your skin during treatment, it will also help to boost your self-esteem and make you feel like yourself, despite this new phase of your life. Your skin will become drier during your treatment so choose gentle products or those for sensitive skin. Talk to skincare professionals about finding the right moisturiser, creams or serums, and use at least SPF 30 or SPF 50 to protect your skin from the sun.
Finding the right support from patient associations can help you prepare for the challenges you may encounter as your treatment begins. Online or in person, you can find likeminded individuals and professionals that want to help you in a range of different ways.
You can also take time to discover Pilates and Sophrology to relax and stretch. There is something for everyone. Spoil yourself; this process is an important step to prepare both mentally and physically for the road ahead.
"The key for me is to prepare the skin barrier so that it is as robust as possible. The best way to do this is to look for the most calming, hydrating and nourishing skin care that will optimise skin health."
Dr Justine Hextall, Consultant Dermatologist
I PREPARE MY BODY AND SKIN
Cancer treatments might bring about changes to your body and skin. However, preparing your skin before these undesirable side effects appear can help you prime for the challenges ahead.
Take some time to educate yourself about what may happen to your appearance. It is essential to know that there are several dermatological options to choose from before your treatment begins. Finding the right products to hydrate and soothe your skin is a useful first step. A cleanser that respects the pH of your skin, the right moisturisers, lotions, and sun protection can all work together to create the best toolkit for you.
I AM PART OF A COMMUNITY
Learning that you have cancer can stir a range of emotional responses. Patient associations and support groups are designed to help you cope with all aspects of your cancer diagnosis.
They will provide you with a safe environment to share experiences and connect with others that are facing similar challenges. These are places where you will find support, a listening ear, and be understood. It can be cathartic to tap into a support network where you will meet others you can trust to explore your feelings around your cancer diagnosis and treatment. Being able to express yourself to others who understand and relate to your situation will boost your self-esteem, especially if your body or skin has changed during your treatment.
Explore how joining a patient association could have powerful benefits on the success of treatment and recovery.