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Managing Your Cancer

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with a blood cancer, you surely have many questions. You can get answers here. You'll find step-by-step guidance and resources.

From the moment your doctor tells you that you have cancer until the time you start treatment, you'll be inundated with information and called on to make a number of decisions. These pages will guide you through the various aspects of managing your cancer. See the Treatment section for information about choosing a blood cancer specialist, understanding lab and imaging tests, making treatment decisions, managing side effects, and more.

Click here for printable lists of questions to ask your doctor.
 
We’re Here to Help. Our Information Specialists are available to help guide you through your journey.

 

In this section:

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Do I Tell Anyone I Have Cancer?

Whether to share the news you have cancer with others can be a very personal decision. You're probably not sure what to do or how much to reveal. Some people with cancer choose to tell their loved ones only; others find it helps to let people they come in regular contact with know about their diagnosis. When people decide to tell others, they may do so for these reasons: It's too big and scary to deal with a...

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Life After Diagnosis And Treatment

Welcome to the new normal. Your treatment is over and now begins a new step in your journey: life after cancer. No one forgets that he, she or a loved one once had cancer. After remission, you may still feel anxiety about your health and fear that the cancer may return. This is especially true when you: Feel symptoms, even when they turn out to be unrelated to cancer Need follow-up visits Return to your doc...

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Long-Term and Late Effects For Cancer Survivors

Blood cancer survivors don't always have serious long-term or late effects of treatment. For those who do, some long-term effects, such as fatigue, can linger for months or years after therapy. Late effects, such as medical conditions like heart disease and other cancers, don't appear until years after treatment ends. Effects can range from mild to severe. Talk with your doctor about possible long-term and late ef...

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Fertility

Your diagnosis is usually not a risk factor for infertility. However, Hodgkin lymphoma is associated with low sperm count, which has been reported in about two-thirds of patients. Chemotherapy and radiation can cause side effects as well as long-term and late effects, which can appear months or years after treatment. One possible late effect is infertility, the inability to conceive a child naturally. When fi...

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Sexuality and Intimacy

You may be concerned about how blood cancer and treatment will affect your current or future relationships and your sexuality. Sexuality refers to physical, psychological, social, emotional and spiritual factors. It includes self-image, body image, reproductive ability, emotional intimacy, sensual feelings and sexual functioning. Sexuality-related concerns may arise from the physical aspects of your disease or tre...

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Food and Nutrition

Eating well can help you feel better and stay stronger during and after cancer treatment. Patients who eat well and maintain a healthy body weight often tolerate treatment side effects better. And good nutrition also helps the body replace blood cells and tissues broken down by treatment. A healthy lifestyle plays a key role in keeping the body strong, supporting the immune system (the cells and proteins that defe...

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Organizing Medical Records

Keeping a file with all your medical records in one place is a good idea, especially if you're seeing more than one doctor or seeking a second opinion. Get copies of lab reports from your healthcare providers and keep them in a file folder, a three-ring binder or any other system that works best for you. Organize test reports by date (chronological) so they're easy to find. By keeping organized records, you'l...

Finances and Insurance Coverage

Healthcare costs are a key concern for most people with blood cancer. Many patients don't have health insurance, and for others, coverage is limited. If you have health insurance, it's essential that you know what your plan covers and how to maintain your benefits.    Where to Start You and your family will need to decide how to pay for treatment while managing household finances. You probably also...

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Employment Rights of Cancer Survivors and Caregivers

Working often fulfills a critical financial and emotional need for cancer survivors and their caregivers. In addition to providing income and important benefits such as health insurance, employment also can provide a source of support, feelings of productivity, and even normalcy. Cancer, however, may create barriers to finding and keeping a job, as well as wreak havoc on the ability to pay bills and to obtain adequat...

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Home Care

You don't necessarily need to depend on inpatient medical facilities to meet all your healthcare needs. If your condition allows, you can get the quality care you need at home and avoid the inconveniences of hospitals, nursing homes and rehabilitation facilities.   What Is Home Care? Home care encompasses a wide range of health, social and rehabilitative services for recovering, disabled, chronically il...

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End of Life Care

The terminal phase of an illness can create unimaginable challenges for you, your loved ones and your family. A major shift in caring for the patient occurs; treating the patient to significantly prolong life becomes making the patient's last days as comfortable and painless as possible. Whether you're the patient, loved one or caregiver, you'll have to deal with all or some of the following during this difficult ...