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How do I get Pancreatic Cancer Support?

Article Details
  • Written By: D. Jeffress
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 08 August 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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Pancreatic cancer is an especially devastating type of malignancy that is notorious for spreading quickly throughout the body. In the majority of cases, pancreatic tumors are not discovered in time to remove them via surgery and prevent the spread of cancer. Therefore, most patients who are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer have a very poor prognosis. Besides the physical pain from the cancer itself and treatments to ablate it, patients often experience depression and emotional distress. Patients can get support to help cope with the condition and maintain a positive attitude by joining support groups, spending time with friends and family, seeing a counselor or talking to nurses and other heath care providers.

Many people who are diagnosed with the condition choose to join pancreatic cancer support groups in their communities. Individuals meet regularly to talk about their situations, struggles, and hopes. The atmosphere at most meetings is positive and upbeat; members speak casually with one another, share anecdotes, and organize fun activities. Group members comfort each other and provide tips on how to better cope with difficult circumstances. New members are warmly welcomed, and they have the opportunity to make friends and gain encouragement from pancreatic cancer survivors.

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Friends and family members can be another important source of pancreatic cancer support. It is common for a cancer patient to feel lonely and depressed, especially during extended stays in a hospital. Family and close friends can show their support in many ways, but simply spending time with patients and enjoying conversations are often enough to lift their spirits.

A patient who does not have the benefit of family and friends is still not alone. Nurses, caregivers, and counselors are very good sources of pancreatic cancer support. In addition to catering to patients' physical needs, nurses provide emotional care and education. A nurse can explain the details of a diagnosis and prognosis to help the patient better understand his or her condition. By learning about pancreatic cancer and knowing what to expect, the patient is better prepared to deal with situations in a positive, hopeful manner.

Counselors and psychologists can help people improve their mental strength and avoid slipping into depression. Professionals who have experience providing pancreatic cancer support know the condition can cause extreme physical pain and mental anguish. They help patients come to terms with cancer by discussing their prognoses honestly and realistically. People who are likely nearing the end of their lives are encouraged to enjoy the time they have left and reflect fondly on good memories. With plenty of support and a strong will, an individual with pancreatic cancer can fully embrace the joys of life.

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