Mind, Body and Side Effects

Make Yourself Comfortable

Cancer and its treatment comes with symptoms and side effects. Most patients experience them at one point, some minor and others intolerable. Every caregiver at the Cancer Center -- from front-line staff at check in to nurses taking your vital signs to the technician giving your chemotherapy -- is concerned about how you’re feeling and can get you to the right person for help.

Keeping Stress in Check

From insomnia to appetite changes to diarrhea and nausea, stress has a destructive effect on cancer patients. While symptoms of stress may call for specific treatment, the best approach is to get to the source of the stress. It's important for patients -- and in some cases their caregivers -- to develop a stress management practice at any point before, during or after treatment.

Body Image Matters

Body image can play a major role in cancer treatment and should be addressed as early as possible. For Sherry Hanson, a single mom of a 3-year-old, she was completely unprepared for the changes in her body's appearance. With the help of the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center's PsychOncology Program, Sherry adjusted to her body's changes and is now at ease with herself.

Getting Back to Your Life as Usual

When you're diagnosed with cancer, everyone's first priority is doing what they can to get rid of it. You may need surgery. Your oncologist might prescribe chemotherapy or radiation. These things can take a toll on your body, even when the cancer is gone. Whether you're in treatment or done with treatment, physical and/or occupational therapy can help you get back to life as usual.

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