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Pitfalls of Getting Cancer

Having cancer is certainly no fun for anyone, but in the advanced stages of the disease it is clearly very distressing. It is now the third time, in so many years that I have had recurrence of follicular non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma but I intend to keep on fighting. I believe people who are diagnosed with conditions of this nature need to look after themselves as well as possible and there are certain rules to the game which perhaps may end up being advantageous. You can insist to your Doctors where possible how they pay attention to this list of items of advice because given the current pressures on healthcare systems. If you do not ask you may not get.

  1. Check out from Macmillan sources or elsewhere all the leaflets which are already published on your particular malignancy with specific context of websites which are relevant. Try and insist in your Doctor’s practice that these are widely displayed.
  2. If your abnormal symptoms persist, try and make sure that the clinical staff pay adequate attention to them especially if things persist or recur as, sometimes, delays are not helpful.
  3. For some malignancies, family history is important and therefore you may need to ask your Doctor whether other check ups need to be made for you yourself.
  4. Obviously if you are diagnosed with any sort of cancer it would be worthwhile checking all your insurance policies and to consider using your private health insurance if you do have it. It is most important to check what they will and won’t cover because many patients have problems with cover for complicated therapies. It is important that these are discussed in detail with those roviding the cover.
  5. Review all of your policies as soon as possible to make sure that no potential claims could potentially be invalidated. If you have critical illness cover, check it carefully.
  6. Make sure you check your credit cards as many of these have cover for illness. If you do take some time off, make sure you are doing something that you want to do, not something that you are doing just because you think it will help you to get into medical school.
  7. Make sure that you keep asking your Doctors and Specialist specific questions about your illness and that it is all fully explained to you and that you understand it.
  8. Ask about potential clinical trials which may be especially important if you have run out of the benefits of conventional therapy.
  9. It is always worthwhile taking someone else with you to clinic to make notes and to interpret what clinicians say, as much of this may be lost in the heat of the moment of much anxiety.

Other Cancer Charities

Leukaemia and Lymphoma Unit, UCLH Charity
A charity based at the University College London Hospital (UCLH), they fund raise for the Leukaemia & Lymphoma Unit, support the patient experience, clinical excellence and continuing professional development for nurses within the UCLH Haematology Unit. For more information please see their website.

Mesothelioma Prognosis Network
Mesothelioma is a deadly form of cancer caused from asbestos exposure. Due to the long latency period of mesothelioma, approximately 20-50 years, most people who are diagnosed with the disease are seniors (about 75 percent). For many of these individuals, caregivers and in-home assistance are a necessity. The Mesothelioma Prognosis Network works with these individuals and their families to help them find local doctors, treatment centers and support groups. They have created extensive prognosis support and information source online.