Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Managing Cancer-Related Stress

(NAPSI)-While an illness such as cancer can be one of life's most stressful events, there are resources people can turn to for help in managing the stress.

If you are currently coping with cancer or have a loved one who is, the best resource for information on overcoming daily challenges is Cancer.Net (www.cancer.net), the patient information Web site of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).

On the site you will find information devoted to the following stress-relief techniques:

Handling Fatigue

A common side effect of cancer and cancer treatment is fatigue. It can be tough for people with cancer to adjust to lower energy levels, but it is important to listen to your body. Don't be afraid to say "no" when asked by others to do tasks. Also, it is more important than ever to conserve your energy and get regular exercise.

Physical Activity

Regular physical activity reduces the effects of fatigue. It also provides stress relief and helps prevent muscle loss.

Cancer.Net has specific advice about physical activity for people undergoing treatment and cancer survivors.

Healthy Eating

Staying healthy is key to maintaining the energy needed to deal with stress. ASCO has developed nutrition and cooking resources for people with cancer on Can cer.Net that are aimed at overcoming the appetite-suppressing side effects of treatment and incorporating nutrients that prevent infections.

Humor

Laughter is a proven stress reliever. For people with cancer, humor creates hope and is a means of acknowledging their illness in a less threatening way both for themselves and their family and friends.

Keeping A Journal

Studies have shown that keeping a journal is a highly effective way to lower anxiety. Writing down stressors is a safe outlet for expressing feelings and may help bring back a sense of control.

Support Groups

It is important for people with cancer to remember that they are not alone. Support groups can help many people cope with the emotional aspects of cancer by providing a place to share experiences and learn from others who are living with cancer.

More in-depth advice and links to specific resources can be found at www.cancer.net/managingstress.

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