What is cancer?
“Cancer is when abnormal cells divide in an uncontrolled way. Some cancers may eventually spread into other tissues.
There are more than 200 different types of cancer.
1 in 2 people in the UK will get cancer in their lifetime.” (Cancer Research, no date)
There are also different ways of staging cancer (see Cancer Research links below). For our purpose we will amend the stages emphasised by Richard Smith and Giuseppe Del Priore (2009).
- In treatment/Living with: Cancer has been diagnosed and the medical team has prescribe a treatment which may include surgery, chemo and radio therapy, hormone therapy, or targeted cancer drugs.
- Cured: Cancer may not be present anymore after treatment.
- Pre-terminal /living with: Cancer may have spread and requires further treatment.
- Terminal/Living with: Cancer has spread to other parts of the body and cannot be cured or adequately treated for a cure. This involves that the patient may die within a short period of time.
Whatever the stage where a patient finds him or herself, the diagnosis will change their life forever. This is because the person will face not only their control of their day-today life, but particularly will feel vulnerability at a degree that might not have been faced ever before.
Different people reacts in different ways. Some will get angry or afraid, some with want to research everything about possible cures and treatments, while others will not. Some feel more hopeful than others. Some will talk about it freely, while other will feel ashamed or guilty about getting sympathy from their friends and co-workers. Some will feel strong and supported, while many will feed frightened and lonely. Usually the cancer patient will feel weak and tired, may lose/gain weight and lose their hair… many will feel depressed and anxious.
The cancer experience is life changing. Cancer patients, their carers and medical team needs the assistance of others, including employers, to make the journey bearable, viable and more successful. Specialist coaches can offer support to increase awareness among all the parties involved, but particularly by focusing attention on what really matters at each stage.
Ask for help. Coaches are here to offer you a helping and constructive hand… all the way.
- Cancer Research (no date). Available on line at: http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/node/196361?_ga=2.4606515.1888061309.1519037841-1518966739.1517834771 and http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/what-is-cancer/stages-of-cancer
- Smith, Richard and Giuseppe Del Priore (2009) Women’s Cancers. Pathways ti Healing. Springer. Uk. Available at: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Womens-Cancers-Pathways-Richard-Smith-ebook/dp/B017I4ZCAI
- NHS. (no date) End of Life Care. Available on line at: https://www.nhs.uk/Planners/end-of-life-care/Pages/coping-with-a-terminal-illness.aspx
- The Guardian (02/05/14) Living with Cancer. Cancer’s emotional impact should be taken as seriously as physical effects by Ciarán Devane. Available on line at: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/may/02/cancer-emotional-impact-physical-effects