Improving Quality of Life for a Cancer Victim Essay

2043 Words 9 Pages
The diagnosis of cancer is devastating news to anyone. It is common for people with such a life-threatening illness to have feelings of fear, disbelief, anxiety and depression. The cancer victim’s family, friends and community act as a net of support to lessen the negative impact of the disease and its treatment. These non-medical support systems, executed primarily by family, not only act as medical advocates, they also are the main caretakers of the patient, and they are the ones who bring much inspiration and encouragement to the patient. A cancer victim’s quality of life is positively impacted by family support before, during and after a cancer diagnosis and treatment.
Cancer is a dynamic entity, affecting
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The physical aspect pertains to the patients’ fertility, sleep, fatigue and pain. Anxiety, fear, anger and depression are part of the psychological factors. In the social domain are the factors of appearance, enjoyment, relationships and family distress. Factors included in the spiritual dimension are the patient’s ability to find meaning in their experience, inner strength and a sense of hope. These four areas of quality of life are enhanced by the cancer victim’s overall support system. To understand the support a cancer patient needs, it is first necessary to understand the effects of the disease on the patient (Adler). Chemotherapy is a major component of cancer treatment. Chemotherapy is defined as the treatment of a disease by the use of chemical substances (National Cancer). These chemical substances are not just eradicating cancerous cells, but healthy ones as well. The chemotherapy drugs lower the white blood cell count, the main fighter of foreign bodies in the human system. The drugs also attack the red blood cells and often wipe out all the neutrophils in the body. Chemotherapy is not so far advanced that it can target only the mutated cells. The mass reduction in blood cells leads to a lowered immune system. Patients are subject to terrible infections due to the body’s lack of ability to fight off disease. The contraction of an infection can cause the delay of chemotherapy. Families that are attuned to the problems

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