Treatments for cancer, in general, have a huge impact on a person’s physical, mental, social, emotional, financial status. But with sufficient knowledge and understanding on how to cope with various treatment modalities, a person can still live life to the fullest despite his condition.
Side-effects are to be expected
Testicular cancer treatments can have various side-effects or can cause radical changes in a man’s body. However, the body reacts differently; not everyone has the same ordeal as the other even if both are given the same mode of treatment.
One of the things that men have to be aware of when getting treatment for cancer treatments, aside from the possibility of getting better from the disease, is they will go through a series of side-effects that will surely take a toll on his well-being. What you need to understand is that side-effects are part of the treatment regimen and it is normal to fear their occurrence.
But do not fret. You have a group of people who are willing to do what it takes to be there for you as you go through the series of unwanted effects from cancer therapy. Palliative care, as physicians would coin it, is an integral part of the treatment process regardless of the person’s age or severity of thedisease.
Palliative care, in the simplest sense, is a type of management focused on giving relief from various stress and symptoms of, not just testicular cancer, but all other types of cancer.
Dealing with the physical side-effects
When dealing with the physical changes brought about by the treatments of testicular cancer, you have to keep in mind that, these will all depend on a lot of factors which includes the stage of cancer, the dose and length of the treatment, and your overall physical health. The body’s ability to withstand the side-effects would greatly depend on how healthy you are in terms of nutrition and lifestyle.
Certain instances may occur wherein the physical side-effects would continue even after the end of the testicular cancer treatment. These are considered as long-term side effects which can last for months or even years.
Dealing with the social and emotional side-effects
One of the aftereffects of testicular cancer is that it can have an effect on your social and emotional status. Some of these would be experiencing formidable emotions like anger, anxiety, and stress. Patients who usually undergo cancer treatments have difficulties expressing their emotions to their support system and sometimes, even the support system fails to listen.
Communication is encouraged to promote more effective coping processes. It’s not only the patient who should share his feelings but also the family of the patient as well – the wife and kids.
“There is a need to address quality of life issues, specifically in the area of reproductive health. This includes considerations beyond infertility and fertility preservation to include other aspects of psychological and social functioning,” writes Anne Moyer, Ph.D.
Dealing with financial side-effects
Cancer treatments are costly. Aside from the physical side-effects, worrying about the financial stability of the family is one of the reasons why patients are anxious and stressed out when going through treatments. Furthermore, there are unforeseeable extra expenses that can come in between which are usually not within the family’s means. Financial status has a great impact on treatments due to the fact that treatments may stop due because the family can no longer afford it.
Support is a must
Some of the basic responsibilities of the person in charge of care at home are the following:
- Provide encouragement and positive outlook
- Administering medications
- Managing the side-effects and symptoms
- Coordinating with the doctor and healthcare team
- Assisting with household chores, meal preparation, and even transportation to appointments
- Handling billing and insurance issues
Family and friends play an intrinsic role in the treatment of the patient. One must assume the duty of being a caregiver to be able to provide the necessary support to the patient.
“As important as it is to have support throughout treatment, perhaps more important is an ongoing sustainable support system that the patient can count on throughout recovery,” writes Allison Abrams, LCSW-R.