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C for Cancer

cancer1Being diagnosed with cancer is scary and turns your world upside down. After the initial shock you know your life has changed inevitably. For the time being, your future is determined by cancer, results of medical investigations, treatments to deal with the cancer, and the implications of the cancer on your future health and wellbeing.

How will you get through this life changing event? 

Empower yourself with as much knowledge as possible and start by reading The Cancer Recovery Guide by Prof. Kerryn Phelps published in 2015. Her book, based on the latest research, will provide you with a comprehensive, accessible and compassionate guide for either yourself as a cancer patient, or your families and carers.

A cancer diagnosis is a difficult life event and just the beginning of a long and challenging journey. Professor Phelps has provided care to numerous cancer patients over many years and knows the issues they face. Her philosophy is always to empower patients with the information they need to improve their wellbeing in whatever way possible.

In The Cancer Recovery Guide, Professor Phelps provides expert advice on:

9781743535677What to do when you are first diagnosed

For example, one of the most important things you can do to help you persevere with treatment and to optimise your chances to recovery is to audit your entire lifestyle. The book provides excellent questionnaires and diary examples which will help to identify habits that have a positive effect on your health, as well as the areas where you need to focus your attention and make changes.

How to get the best from your medical team

The author discusses communication with your general practitioner (GP), specialists and healthcare practitioners and advises on consolidation of all medical records with many practical tips how to keep on top of things when rational thinking may be impaired.

What to expect from cancer-specific treatments and how to manage side effects

The book outlines treatments for the common forms of cancer such as:

  • bowel
  • breast
  • cervix
  • prostate
  • stomach

The chapter on managing side effects is very comprehensive and includes an integrative approach to dealing with:

  • anxiety and depression
  • constipation
  • fatigue
  • mouth ulcers
  • nausea and vomiting
  • pain
  • reduced immune function

The role of sleep, exercise and nutrition in easing the effects of treatment and facilitating recovery

We can’t change the fact that someone gets cancer. What we can do is focusing on improving lifestyle habits such as a healthier diet, increased activity levels and adequate rest and mindfulness. A study including 93 volunteers showed the positive impact an intensive lifestyle change can have on men with prostate cancer.

Strategies for both patients and carers to cope with the emotional toll of cancer

Kerryn Phelps draws on her extensive knowledge as a GP of dealing with cancer and communicating the life changing news to patients and carers. Her chapter on mental health discusses topics such as how to emotionally prepare for medical appointments, when to get professional help, suggestions on different therapies and support.

Being diagnosed with cancer can be a very unexpected shock and might make you feel like you have absolutely no control over the cancer or its outcome. To some extent that is true. However, empowering yourself with knowledge that how you live your life and the impact of changing lifestyle habits is vitally important. Reading The Cancer Recovery Guide provides easy to read content with extensive practical advice for dealing with cancer.

Source: Phelps, Kerryn 2015, The Cancer Recovery Guide, Pan Macmillan, Sydney, Australia

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