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Occupational Therapy for Cancer Survivors

by Claudine Campbell, MOT, OTR/L, CLT

Cancer and its treatment can hinder your participation in im­portant and meaningful activities in many different ways. For example, the various side effects of treatment can im­pede your ability to take a shower every day, prepare meals, or do the laundry. Work responsibilities, leisure interests, social activities, and caring for your chil­dren can also become more challenging during cancer treatment and recovery. Can you relate to any of these scenarios? If so, you’re not alone. And there may be something that can help – occupational therapy.

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Camp Kesem

Camp Kesem is by big kids for little kids whose parents have cancer. Anchored in a network of free summer camps, Camp Kesem provides a peer-based support system for children affected by a parent’s cancer. Led by the passionate efforts of college students across the country, Camp Kesem offers what these kids need most – support, courage, em­pathy, and fun – as they face realities no child should have to face.

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Misunderstanding of Palliative Care Prevents People from Getting the Care They Need

Palliative care’s association with end of life has created an “identity problem” that means the majority of people facing a serious illness do not benefit from treat­ment of the physical and psychological symptoms that occur throughout their disease, according to an article co-authored by palliative care experts at Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital, the American Cancer Society, and Johns Hopkins University.

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Learning to Advocate for Yourself

by Irene Goss-Werner, MSW, LICSW

Communicating your needs when you have cancer may seem straightforward, but for many people, self-advocacy can be daunting. However, once you learn some basic self-advocacy skills, you’ll find that communicating your needs to your medical team, partner, family, friends, or colleagues will allow others to be involved in your care in the ways you want them to be. By using the follow­ing purposeful, thoughtful approaches to communication, you’ll be better able to let others know what is and is not helpful, while enabling yourself to set limits and more easily express your concerns.

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Guide to Lodging Accommodations

There are several reasons why people with cancer and their families may decide to travel to receive care. For cancer survivors and their families, finding accommodations can be a challenge. Several facilities offer lodging for free or for a nominal fee. Each temporary lodging program will have its own rules and criteria to qualify for services.

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Novartis Oncology Announces Mobile Apps

Novartis Oncology has announced the launch of two new patient-oriented mobile phone apps to help patients better manage their health and allow them to more easily access and share important health information with their physician. My Net Manager is supported by six patient groups and Clinical Trial Seek is sourced from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).  

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Cancer Support Community Launches Living Healthy with Cancer

The Cancer Support Community has launched Frankly Speaking About Cancer: Living Healthy with Cancer®, an educational program intended to raise awareness about the unique physical and emotional needs of those living with cancer and to teach survivors how to develop healthy habits to meet these needs.

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Wings for Life

For cancer survivors, distant travel is sometimes necessary to reach a cancer center or hospital for treatment or a second opinion that is not available in their local communities. Flying can be expensive, but various air transport organizations provide free or reduced-cost flights to assist people who need help getting to and from treatment locations. The following is a partial listing of organizations that provide or coordinate flights for cancer survivors and their families.

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