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Patients

Anxiety, Fear & Emotional Distress

Audience: 
Anxiety (a feeling of worry or unease), fear, uncertainty, anger, and sadness are common feelings that patients and families sometimes have when coping with cancer. They are normal responses to the stress of cancer, especially when the cancer is first diagnosed.

What Happens After Treatment for Cervical Cancer?

Cancer Types: 
Audience: 
For some women with cervical cancer, treatment may remove or destroy the cancer. Completing treatment can be both stressful and exciting. You might be relieved to finish treatment, but find it hard not to worry about cancer coming back. (When cancer comes back after treatment, it is called recurrence.) This concern is very common in people who have had cancer.

Eating Hints After Cancer Treatment

Once you finish cancer treatment, many of your eating problems will get better. Some eating problems, such as weight loss and changes in taste or smell, may last longer than your course of treatment. If you had treatment for head and neck cancer or surgery to remove part of your stomach or intestines, then eating problems may always be part of your life.

Poor Appetite

Audience: 
A person with a poor appetite or no appetite may eat much less than they normally do or may not eat at all. A poor appetite can be caused by many things, such as trouble swallowing, depression, pain, nausea, or vomiting. A poor appetite can also be due to a changed sense of taste or smell, feeling full, tumor growth, dehydration/lack of fluids, or the side effects of chemotherapy or radiation. A poor appetite is most often a short-term problem.

Depression

Audience: 
Some depression is common when patients and family members are coping with cancer. Sadness and grief are normal, as are a range of other emotions. But when these feelings last a long time or get in the way of day-to-day activities, there is reason for concern. Clinical depression, a treatable illness, occurs in about 1 in 4 people with cancer.

Sweating

Audience: 

Sweating is heavy perspiration that can happen at night or even when the room is cool. It can be heavy enough to soak a person’s clothes. Such sweating is common when a fever breaks. You may notice sweating a short time after the person has shaking chills. (See the section called Fever.)

You can have a fever with or without a known infection. Sometimes no fever is detected, only the sweating that goes along with a drop or break in fever.

Swelling

Audience: 

Swelling (edema) is a build-up of water in the tissues. Common causes include salt and water retention (due to medicines or heart, liver, or kidney failure), poor nutrition, pelvic tumors, or a blockage in the veins or lymph system. Fluid can also build up in the abdomen (belly). This is known as ascites (as-sigh-tees). It makes the belly look swollen.

Peripheral Neuropathy Caused By Chemotherapy

Audience: 
Your health care team needs to know if your chemo is causing signs of chemo-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN), so be sure to tell them about any changes you notice. During treatment, they will ask you about your symptoms and watch you to see if the CIPN is getting worse. Your team may need to delay your treatment, use smaller doses of the chemo drugs, or stop treatment with the drug that is causing the CIPN until your symptoms get better. These actions must be started right away to prevent long-term damage that won’t get better.

Skin Problems from Radiation Therapy

Audience: 
Your skin in the treatment area may look red, irritated, swollen, blistered, sunburned, or tanned. After a few weeks, your skin may become dry, flaky, itchy, or it may peel. It’s important to let your doctor or nurse know about any skin changes. They can suggest ways to ease the discomfort, maybe lessen further irritation, and try to prevent infection.