Sunday, January 31, 2010

How to Choose the Best Home Care Service For Mesothelioma Patients

Much of the care that you are going to get as a mesothelioma cancer patient will be given in an outpatient setting, which includes home care. In many ways, home care for the person with cancer is no different than the home care that is given to people with other kinds of illness.

A mesothelioma patient will need help with diet and nutrition, physical therapy, home health aides, speech and respiratory therapy, personal care, emotional support, volunteer services, pharmacy, support from clergy, and other kinds of care.
Also skilled nursing services involving the use of an oncology nurse specialist, who is an expert in cancer care might be available for home care treatment of the mesothelioma patient. Many of these same services are also offered as part of hospice care.

Some of the home care services that could be provided for the mesothelioma patient are:


-immunotherapy or biologic therapy (which use different parts of the body's immune system to fight cancer or lessen the side effects of some cancer treatments)

-blood products

-pain management

-antibiotic treatment

-nutritional support

-anti-emetic therapy (treatment for vomiting)

-hydration (giving of fluids, usually IV or through a feeding tube, for patients who cannot drink enough liquids). These infusion therapies can be given at home by home care agencies.

There are some points that you must consider if you want ton choose the best home agency for your care. You must first of all discuss with your health team to know the types of services you will need. Then you can find agencies that offer those services.

Find out about the accreditation, licensing, and certification of the agencies that you are considering. Also ask questions about your prospective agencies quality of cancer care, the type of experience they have with providing cancer care services, and the skills and training of staff at the agencies you are considering.

There are a number of questions you might ask when you're looking at a home care service:


Are the home care providers that you are considering Medicare-certified? Medicare-certified programs have met federal requirements for patient care and management. Home care providers are closely supervised and controlled. Medicare certifies only agencies with skilled nursing care. To find a Medicare-approved home health agency, you can visit "Home Health Compare" on the Web at This helpful tool is listed under the search tool "Compare Home Health Agencies in Your Area" on their home page. It gives you names, addresses, and phone numbers of nearby agencies. You can also look at quality measures and compare how well the home care agencies deal with common health problems.


Is the agency you are considering accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting body, such as the Joint Commission? You can look up the agency on the Joint Commission Web site at The Joint Commission is an independent, not-for-profit organization that evaluates and accredits health care organizations and programs that volunteer for their review. Accreditation is an important measure in selecting quality health care services. You can ask to see the results of the home care agency's most recent Joint Commission survey.


How many years has the agency been serving your community? Can the agency give you references from cancer care professionals, such as an oncologist, oncology nurse, cancer center, or an oncology social worker, who have used this agency? Ask for names and phone numbers. A good agency will give these to you if you ask. Talk to these people about their experiences. You may also wish to check with your local Better Business Bureau, your local Consumer Bureau, or the State Attorney General's office. They can tell you if complaints have been filed against the agency.


Is your prospective care provider licensed by your state?Most states require licensing of home health agencies.

Consumer information

Does the agency have written statements that list services (including cancer care services), eligibility requirements, costs and payment procedures, staff job descriptions, and malpractice and liability insurance? Ask that they send you any brochures or other information they can share about their services.

Quality of care

Does the agency have a 24-hour telephone number you can call when you have questions or complaints? How does the agency respond to your very first call? Does the telephone staff seem caring, patient, and competent from the first contact, even if they need to return your call? Do they speak in simple language, or do they use a lot of jargon? What is their procedure for receiving and resolving complaints? How an agency responds to that first call for help may give you a good idea of the kind of care to expect. You may also ask if the agency does customer satisfaction surveys. If so, ask to see the results of the last survey.


Does the agency have an emergency plan in place in case of a power failure or natural disaster? Ask to see a copy of the plan. In case of an emergency, you need to know if the agency can still deliver services to your home.


How quickly can the agency start services? What are its service boundaries -- do they serve your area? Does the agency offer specialized services by rehabilitation therapists, dietitians, family counselors, or art therapists when these could improve your comfort? Does the agency offer to lend used medical equipment or other items that might also enhance your quality of life?

Inpatient care

What are the agency's policies regarding inpatient care if you should need it? Where is such care provided? What are the requirements for an inpatient admission and how long can you stay? What happens if you no longer need hospital care but cannot go home? Can you tour the residential facility the agency uses? Which hospitals contract with the agency for inpatient care? What kind of follow-up does the agency provide for inpatients? Do nursing homes contract with the agency? Does the agency provide as much nursing, social work, and aide care for each patient in the nursing home as it does in the home setting?

Patient's rights and responsibilities

Does the agency explain these? Ask to see a copy of the agency's patient's rights and responsibilities information if it is not offered to you.


How does the agency handle payment and billing? Get all financial arrangements such as costs, payment procedures, and billing in writing. Read the agreement carefully before signing. Be sure to keep a copy. What resources does the agency provide to help you find financial aid if it is needed? Are standard payment plan options offered?


If equipment such as a respirator, oxygen machine, or dialysis machine is used, does the agency teach you or a responsible family member how to use and care for it at home? Who is available if equipment problems come up at night or on weekends?

Bello kamorudeen.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

How is Mesothelioma Treated Based on Stage of Tumor?

Mesotheliomas is very resistant to treatment irrespective of the stage of the tumor . It's very important that you understand the goal of treatment before it starts -- whether it is to try to cure the cancer or to help relieve symptoms ,you should also be aware of the potential side effects and likely outcome of your treatment method. This can help you make an informed decision when looking at your treatment options.

Resectable mesothelioma

In general terms, most stage I and some stage II and III mesotheliomas are potentially resectable, but there are exceptions. Resectability is based not only on the size of the tumor, but also on the subtype (most doctors believe only epithelioid tumors are potentially resectable), where it is located, and whether or not a person is healthy enough to have surgery.

Many patients with resectable pleural mesothelioma have their cancer removed by pleurectomy/decortication or extrapleural pneumonectomy. Patients with peritoneal mesotheliomas in an early stage might also benefit from surgery.

Surgery is more likely to result in long-term benefit in stage I cancers, where there is a better chance that most or all of the cancer can be removed. Some patients can have long remissions after extensive surgery by experts. Surgery may still be helpful for later stage cancers, but the benefits are more likely to be short term.

Doctors are still studying whether giving chemotherapy or radiation therapy after surgery (adjuvant therapy) is helpful. Many doctors advise adjuvant therapy, but not all doctors agree on when to use it or what the best course of treatment is.

If your general health is too poor to tolerate a major operation, radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy may be used instead. While these treatments may shrink or slow the growth or the cancer for a time, they are not likely to result in a cure.

If you have symptoms because of fluid buildup in the chest or abdomen, other approaches such as thoracentesis/paracentesis or pleurodesis may be helpful.

Because these cancers can be hard to treat, taking part in a clinical trial of a newer form of treatment may be a reasonable option. These types of studies are usually done in large medical centers.

Unresectable mesotheliomas

Stage IV mesotheliomas, as well as many earlier stage mesotheliomas, are not resectable by surgery because of the extent of the disease or because a person may not be able to tolerate an operation. Chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy may be treatment options that shrink or slow the growth of the cancer for a time, but they are very unlikely to result in a cure and can have their own side effects. Before starting such treatments, the goals of treatment should be clear to you and your family.

Because these cancers can be hard to treat, taking part in a clinical trial of a newer form of treatment may be a reasonable option.
In many cases, treatment aimed at this stage is aimed at relieving symptoms and making you as comfortable as possible. This could include treatments that prevent or reduce fluid buildup in the body that could affect your breathing or ability to take in nutrition.

Pain management is another important aspect of your care. Some minor operations and types of radiation therapy can help relieve pain if needed. Doctors can also prescribe strong pain-relieving drugs. Some people with cancer may hesitate to use opioid drugs (such as morphine) for fear of being sleepy all the time or becoming addicted to them. But many people get very effective pain relief from these medicines without serious side effects. It's very important to let your cancer care team know if you are having pain so that it can be treated effectively.

Recurrent mesotheliomas

Some mesotheliomas may recur (come back) after the initial treatment. If this happens, further treatment options depend on where the cancer is and what treatments have already been used. In most cases the options will be similar to those listed above for unresectable mesotheliomas. For example, chemotherapy may be used to try to shrink or slow the growth of the cancer and to relieve any symptoms. Because recurrent cancers can often be hard to treat, you should consider strongly the option of participating in clinical trials.

Bello kamorudeen.

Friday, January 29, 2010

New Developments In Mesothelioma Treatment

Targeted drugs

In general, chemotherapy drugs are limited in their effectiveness against advanced mesothelioma. As researchers have learned more about the changes in cells that cause cancer, they have been able develop newer drugs that specifically target these changes. Targeted drugs work differently from standard chemotherapy drugs. They often have different (and less severe) side effects.

One group of targeted drugs is known as angiogenesis inhibitors. These drugs target the growth of new blood vessels (angiogenesis), which tumors need to grow larger. Some of these drugs are already used to treat other types of cancer and are now being studied for use against mesotheliomas. Examples of these drugs include bevacizumab (Avastin) and sorafenib (Nexavar).

Other new drugs have different targets. For example, ranpirnase (Onconase) is an enzyme that breaks down RNA (part of a cell's genetic material) and causes cancer cells to die at the right time. In early studies it has helped some patients with mesothelioma to live longer. Larger clinical trials are currently in progress.
Other new targeted drugs being tested in mesothelioma clinical trials include imatinib (Gleevec), erlotinib (Tarceva), dasatinib (Sprycel), bortezomib (Velcade), sunitinib (Sutent), and vorinostat (Zolinza).

Gene therapy

This form of therapy is a new kind of treatment which aims to replace or repair abnormal cancer cell genes. One approach to gene therapy uses special viruses that have been modified in the lab. The virus is injected into the pleural space and infects the mesothelioma cells. When this infection occurs, the virus injects the desired gene into the cells. Research on this type of therapy has just started and much research is needed to fine tune this form of treatment.

Bello kamorudeen

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Important New Developments in the Management of Mesothelioma

Research is going on all over the world especially in certain developed countries on mesothelioma. A lot of research is going on to try and find causes and better ways of treating the disease. Medical science is working to improve accuracy of diagnosis and effectiveness of treatment. Despite recent progress, much remains to be learned about the best way to treat these cancers.

Research on causes and prevention

Much of the research on mesothelioma has focused on learning exactly how asbestos changes mesothelial cells and their DNA to cause these cancers. Understanding how these fibers produce cancer might help us develop ways to prevent those changes.

The role of asbestos in increasing the risk of mesothelioma is a definite public health concern. Researchers are continuously learning more about which fibers can produce cancer, how they cause these cancers, and what levels of exposure can be considered safe. Now that the dangers of asbestos are known, we can limit or stop exposure in homes, public buildings, and the workplace. Unfortunately, regulations protecting workers from asbestos exposure are much less stringent in some countries than in others.

Research is also under way to clarify the role (if any) of SV40, a virus that has been linked to mesothelioma in some studies.

Research on Treatment

Mesothelioma remains a difficult cancer to treat, and doctors are constantly trying to improve on current approaches. Treatments that use some combination of surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy, called multimodality therapy, are now being studied and may provide the most promising option for some patients. The use of any of these conventional methods alone is no longer advocated as the results of such treatment regimen has been poor.

Radiation therapy

Mesothelioma does not usually grow as a well-defined tumor. This makes it difficult to aim radiation at it without affecting nearby healthy tissues, which has limited the use of radiation therapy against this cancer.
Newer radiation therapy techniques, such as three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy (3DCRT) and intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) use computers to more precisely map tumors and to deliver radiation more accurately. This may limit side effects and allow doctors to use higher dose of radiation on the tumors themselves.


Some chemotherapy drugs can shrink or slow the growth of mesotheliomas, but in most cases the effects last for a limited time. Several newer chemotherapy drugs, including raltitrexed, are currently being tested in clinical trials, together with other types of treatment.
Doctors are now studying the efficacy of direct administration of chemotherapy drugs directly into the chest or abdominal cavity, often right after surgery. In some cases the drugs are heated before giving them, which may make them work better. Doctors hope that putting the drugs directly into contact with the tumors may allow them to work better, while limiting their side effects on the rest of the body.

Photodynamic therapy

Another technique now being studied is photodynamic therapy (PDT). For this treatment, a light-activated drug is injected into a vein. The drug spreads throughout the body and tends to collect in cancer cells. A few days later (usually just after surgery for the mesothelioma), a special red light on the end of a tube is placed into the chest cavity. The light causes a chemical change that activates the drug and causes the cancer cells to die. Since the drug is only active in the areas exposed to the special light, this approach may cause fewer side effects than use of drugs that spread throughout all tissues of the body. Several clinical trials are now studying the use of PDT for mesothelioma.

Other new methods of treatment include the use of targeted drugs and the use of gene therapy.

Bello kamorudeen.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Mesothelioma Chemotherapy –How to Cope With Fatigue and Diarrhea

Fatigue is a very common side effect of mesothelioma chemotherapy. You could end up with mild lethargy or you could get completely exhausted from the effects of the chemo. The kind of fatigue you might experience is different from being tired and it is not relieved by sleeping or resting. It is usually worst at the beginning and at the end of a treatment cycle. However it goes away upon completion of chemo and it does not linger further.

These are steps that can help you cope better with this kind of fatigue:

-Get plenty of rest and allow time during the day for rest periods.

-Talk with your doctor or nurse about a regular exercise program.

-Eat a well-balanced diet and drink plenty of liquids.

-Limit your activities. Do only the things that are most important to you.

-Get help when you need it. Ask family, friends, and neighbors to pitch in with activities, such as child care, shopping, housework, or driving. For example, you might ask neighbors to pick up some items for you at the grocery store while doing their own shopping.

-Get up slowly to help prevent dizziness after sitting or lying down.

-Let your doctor know if you are having a hard time sleeping at night.

Diarrhoea is another side effect of chemotherapy that occurs when the chemo drugs affect the cells lining the intestine You will pass 2 or more loose stools in a 4-hour time period. If you have diarrhea that lasts for more than 24 hours, or if you have pain and cramping along with it, call your doctor.

In severe cases, the doctor may have you take an anti-diarrheal medicine, but don't take any over-the-counter anti-diarrheal medicines without asking your doctor first.

These are some steps that will help you to control diarrhea:

-Do not take large amount of food at one, avoid heavy meals, instead eat smaller amounts of food, but eat more often.

-Avoid coffee, tea, alcohol, and sweets.

-Do not take high-fiber foods, as they can lead to diarrhea and cramping.
High-fiber foods include whole grain breads and cereals, raw vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, popcorn, and fresh and dried fruit. Eat low-fiber foods instead, such as white bread, white rice or noodles, creamed cereals, ripe bananas, canned or cooked fruit without skins, cottage cheese, yogurt, eggs, mashed or baked potatoes without the skin, pureed vegetables, chicken or turkey without the skin, and fish.

-Avoid fried, greasy, or spicy foods.

-Avoid milk and milk products if they make your diarrhea worse.

-Eat more potassium-rich foods, such as bananas, oranges, potatoes, and peach and apricot nectars, unless your doctor has told you otherwise.

-Drink plenty of fluids and water to replace the body fluids that you loose through the diarrhea. You can take mild, clear liquids, such as apple juice, water, weak tea, clear broth, or ginger ale . Make sure they are at room temperature and drink them slowly. Let carbonated drinks lose their fizz before you drink them.

If your diarrhea is severe (meaning that you have had 7 or 8 loose movements in 24 hours), go and see your doctor right away. You might need to be on a clear liquid diet to give your bowels time to rest.

As you feel better, slowly add the low-fiber foods. A clear liquid diet doesn't have all the nutrients you need, so don't follow it for more than 3 or 4 days.

If your diarrhea gets worse you might need admission into the hospital so that an IV line can be set up for to get intravenous fluid replacement.

Bello kamorudeen.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Mesothelioma Chemotherapy-How to Reduce the Side Effects of Nausea and Vomiting

Chemotherapy drugs for mesothelioma cancer work by targeting and killing rapidly growing cancer cells but because these drugs are transported round the body they also affect other normal rapidly dividing healthy cells of the body thus leading to normal cell destruction which causes most of the side effects attributed to them. Although side effects are not always as bad as you might expect, many people worry about this part of their cancer treatment.

The commonest side effects of chemotherapy are:

-nausea and vomiting
-hair loss
-fatigue (tiredness)
-increased chance of bruising and bleeding
-anemia (low red blood cell count)

Nausea and vomiting are 2 of the most common and most dreaded side effects of chemo. How often you feel these side effects and how bad they are depend on the drugs you are getting and how they affect you.

Nausea and vomiting may start during treatment and last a few hours. Sometimes, but less often, severe nausea and vomiting can last for a few days. Be sure to tell your doctor or nurse if you are very nauseated, if you have been vomiting for more than a day, or if your nausea is so bad that you cannot keep liquids down.

You can reduce this nausea and vomiting by changing the way you eat and using certain drugs that help to reduce the impulse to nauseate and vomit{these drugs are called anti emetics}. There are different kind of anti emetic drugs,and you might need to try more than one drug before you will find the one that actually works best for you.

About half of the people getting chemo feel queasy even before treatment begins. This is called anticipatory nausea, and it is very real. The best way to handle anticipatory nausea is by taking effective anti-emetics to prevent vomiting, and by using relaxation techniques.

These following measures will help to reduce nausea and vomiting:

-Do not take big meals that make your stomach too full at time. Eat frequent, small meals throughout the day instead of 1, 2, or 3 large meals.

-Drink liquids at least an hour before or after mealtime instead of with your meals.

- Eat and drink slowly.

-Avoid sweet, fried, or fatty foods.

-Let your meals be at room temperature or at cold temperatures when you want to eat so that you wont perceive the strong smell and aroma of the meals.

-Try and chew your food well before swallowing so that it can digest easily.

-If nausea is a problem in the morning, try eating dry foods, such as cereal, toast, or crackers, before getting up. (Don't try this if you have mouth or throat sores or are troubled by a dry mouth.)

-Drink cool, clear liquids, such as apple juice, tea, or ginger ale that has lost its fizz.

-Suck on ice cubes, mints, or tart candies. (Don't eat tart candies if you have mouth or throat sores.)

-Try to avoid odors that bother you, such as cooking smells, smoke, or perfume.

-Rest in a chair after eating, but don't lie flat for at least 2 hours after you've finished your meal.

-Wear loose-fitting clothes.

-Breathe deeply and slowly when you feel nauseated.

-Get your mind off the disease and your treatment by talking with friends or family members, listening to music, or watching a movie or TV show.

Bello kamorudeen.

Monday, January 25, 2010

How Does Mesothelioma Chemotherapy Affects Sexuality and Sexual Function?

Mesothelioma chemotherapy can but does not always affect sexual organs and functioning. The possible side effects depend on the drugs used, age, and general health.

In men, chemotherapy results in low sperm counts, reduced sperm mobility or altered sperm structure. These changes can result in short- or long-term infertility. Infertility affects a man’s ability to father a child, but does not affect his ability to have sex. This however is usually not a likely concern in mesothelioma victims as the men are usually above 60 years and would have probably given birth to all the children they want to birth by then.

Men who are getting chemo should use birth control with their partners during treatment because chemo may have harmful effects on chromosomes of sperm cells. Ask your doctor when you can stop using birth control for this reason. This becomes more relevant if the male mesothelioma patient's wife is still within child bearing age bracket.

In women chemotherapy can damage the ovaries and reduce the amount of hormones they produce. As a result, you may have these side effects:

-Your menstrual periods may become irregular or stop completely during treatment, if you are still menstruating.

-You may have excessive menopause-like symptoms, such as hot flashes and itching, burning, or dryness of vaginal tissues. These tissue changes can make intercourse uncomfortable, but the symptoms often can be relieved by using a water-based vaginal lubricant.

-You may be more likely to get vaginal infections. To help prevent infection, avoid oil-based lubricants such as petroleum jelly, always use a condom for sexual intercourse, wear cotton underwear and pantyhose with a ventilated cotton lining, and don’t wear tight slacks or shorts. Your doctor also may prescribe a vaginal cream or suppository to reduce the chances of infection. If you do get an infection, it should be treated right away.

-You may become infertile (unable to become pregnant). Whether this happens and how long it lasts depends on many factors, including the type of drug, the doses given, and your age. However since mesothelioma cancer usually develops around the age of 55 years and above ,by which time most women would have become menopausal, fertility is usually not an issue.

Some people feel closer than ever to their partners and have an increased desire for sexual activity during treatment. Others experience little or no change in their sexual desire and energy level. Still others find that their sexual interest declines because of the physical and emotional stresses of having cancer and getting chemo. These stresses may include:

• worries about changes in how you look

• anxiety about health, family, or finances

• side effects, including fatigue and hormonal changes

A partner's concerns or fears also can affect the sexual relationship. Some may worry that physical intimacy will harm the person who has cancer. Others may fear that they might "catch" the cancer or be affected by the drugs.

You and your partner can clear up many of these misunderstandings by talking about sexual concerns with your doctor, nurse, or a counselor who can give you the information and the reassurance you need.

You should share your feelings with your partner freely and openly. If you find it difficult to communicate freely on these issues, try and seek help of a counselor who can help you communicate more openly.

If you were comfortable with and enjoyed sexual relations before starting treatment, chances are you will still find pleasure in physical intimacy during treatment. But you may find that intimacy takes on new meaning. Hugging, touching, holding, and cuddling may become more important, while sexual intercourse may become less important.

Bello kamorudeen.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Mesothelioma Chemotherapy-How You Can Reduce The Side Effect Of Hair Loss

Mesothelioma chemotherapy drugs work by selectively targeting and killing the rapidly growing cell of the mesothelioma tumor. Unfortunately however these drugs also tend to affect the normal healthy rapidly dividing cells of the body leading to the death of normal healthy tissues in the body thereby causing side effects. These side effects causes a lot of anxiety in cancer patients although they might not as bad as you will expect.

The normal cells most likely to be affected are blood forming cells in the bone marrow, hair follicles; and cells in the mouth, digestive tract, and reproductive system. Some chemo drugs can damage cells in the heart, kidneys, bladder, lungs, and nervous system. In some cases, medicines called cytoprotective drugs may be given with the chemo to protect the body's normal cells.

One of the commonest side effects of chemotherapy is hair loss also known as alopecia.This can be devastating experience, especially in women. Not all chemo drugs will make you lose your hair. Some people have mild thinning that they only notice. Your doctor will be able to tell you if your medicines are likely to make you lose your hair.

When you lose hair during treatments it will usually grow back after treatment although it might be of different color or texture.

You can lose your hair on all parts of your body, not just your head. Facial hair, including eyelashes and eyebrows; arm and leg hair; underarm hair; and pubic hair all may be affected. It usually doesn't happen right away. More often, hair loss begins after a few treatments. At that point, your hair may fall out slowly or in clumps. Any hair that remains may become dull and dry.

These following steps will help to reduce hair loss when you are on chemotherapy:

* Use mild shampoos.

* Use soft hair brushes.

* Use low heat if you must use a hair dryer.

* Don't use brush rollers to set your hair.

* Don't dye your hair or get a perm.

* Have your hair cut short. A shorter style will make your hair look thicker and fuller. It also will make hair loss easier to deal with if it does happen.

* Use a sunscreen, hat, scarf, or wig to protect your scalp from the sun.

* Use a satin pillowcase.

Sometimes, either during the regrowth of your hair or when you are bald, your scalp may feel extra tender, dry, and itchy. Keeping your scalp clean by using a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner may help. Use gentle creams or lotions on your scalp as needed. Even a gentle scalp massage may make your scalp feel better.

After chemo, it is advised that you wait till your hair returns to normal before you use hair dyes,{this takes about 6 months after completion of treatment}as hair dyes are known to contain chemicals like peroxide that can damage the hair and chemotherapy might make the damage worse.

Bello kamorudeen.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

How Does The Medicare Plan D Apply To Mesothelioma Patients?

The Part D drug benefit is prescription drug coverage for people with Medicare. Medicare offers Part D to everyone with Medicare. (People enrolled in Medicare are called Medicare beneficiaries.) Part D coverage may help you lower your prescription drug costs and help protect you from higher costs in the future. It can give you greater access to the anti cancer drugs you need to treat your cancer . To get Medicare Part D drug coverage, you must join a plan that is run by an insurance company or other private company that has been approved by Medicare.

If you join a Medicare drug plan, you usually pay a monthly premium. If you decide not to join a Medicare drug plan when you are first eligible (able to join), you may pay a penalty if you decide to join later. If your income and resources are limited, you might qualify for extra help paying Part D costs.

There are different plans that vary in cost and the type of drugs that are covered by each plan and it is hard to compare them. As a mesothelioma cancer patient, your may incur huge annual drug expenses , so it is important to look at each plan's coverage, as well as your cost-sharing obligations during coverage gaps. Coverage gaps are dollar limits that, when reached, leave you responsible for some or all of the drug costs

The coverage gap or "donut hole" is the gap in which you must pay 100% of your prescription costs. Once your total drug costs (what you and the plan pay for your prescriptions) reach a pre-set dollar amount for the year, you will hit the "donut hole." Then you will pay all of your drug costs until the total out-of-pocket costs reaches another pre-set amount. Reaching this amount triggers what is called catastrophic coverage. After that, Medicare Part D will cover 95% of your drug costs and you will pay a flat co-pay or 5% of the cost of the drug for the rest of that year. (Keep in mind that some cancer drugs cost a lot and 5% can be several hundred dollars a month.)

If your drug plan has a coverage gap , here are some ways you can avoid or delay entering the gap, and save money on drug costs while in the gap:

-See if you can switch to generic drugs or other lower-cost drugs.

-Ask your doctor about drugs that would work just as well as the ones you’re taking now. Even though many cancer treatment drugs do not have generics, the savings in non-cancer drugs may be enough to help you avoid the coverage gap.

You can find out more about saving money by using mail-order pharmacies, generic, or less-expensive brand-name drugs from the Compare Medicare Prescription Drug Plans section of medicare

Keep using your Medicare drug plan card, even if your drug expenses get up to your coverage gap. Using your drug plan card ensures that you’ll get the drug plan’s discounted rates and that the money you spend counts toward your catastrophic coverage.

For mesothelioma cancer patients, this new benefit covers some drugs that were not covered in the past. Before Medicare Part D, Medicare covered only those prescription drugs given as injections in doctors' offices or treatment centers. That included many cancer drugs. Coverage of these cancer drugs will continue under Medicare, while the new Part D coverage will help pay for the anti cancer drugs that are prescribed for you at the local pharmacy.

The new Part D drug benefit is good news for Medicare beneficiaries who have been diagnosed with cancer, especially those who do not have any other way to pay for their prescriptions. Medicare Part D drug plans must accept all who apply and are eligible – no matter their age or health status. Still, the coverage under this benefit does have some gaps that require out-of-pocket spending. And, not every drug on the market will be covered by every Medicare-approved drug plan. It is very important that you carefully review your drug plan options and compare the plan's covered drugs to the drugs you take. Keep in mind that the plan can change, and you will need to be abreast of new developments every year.

Bello kamorudeen.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Oral Mesothelioma Chemotherapy-Important Facts For You to Know

Chemotherapy which involves the use of anti cancer drugs to treat cancer is one of the main ways of treating mesothelioma cancer, there are many types of chemotherapy (chemo) that can be taken as a liquid, tablet, or capsule. Oral chemo is any drug you are taking by mouth to treat your cancer. Oral chemo does not need to be injected into the body. Chemo taken by mouth is as strong as the other forms and works just as well. One of the best ways you can help fight your cancer is by taking your chemo exactly as your health team directs you to.

There are also other chemotherapy agents that can not be taken orally as the stomach can not absorb such drugs very well while some of the other chemotherapy agents are actually toxic to the body if taken orally. In fact, quite a number of chemotherapy agents are administered intravenously through an IV line directly into the blood. Oral chemotherapy however is much more easier to take and it can be taken at home.You don't need to go into a hospital or clinic for every treatment.

Sometimes chemo is given in cycles. This cuts down on the harm to healthy cells and allows the drugs to kill more cancer cells. Your doctor will decide if you need to get your treatment every day, every week, every few weeks, or every month.

Before you start taking oral chemotherapy here are some issues that you must discuss with your health team:

- What is the name of the chemotherapy drug you are about to start using? Does it go by some other names?

-How does the drug work?How will it make me feel?

-Are the directions for taking the drugs easy to follow?

- How are my chemotherapy drugs will there be in my drug combination?

- What if I have trouble swallowing and keeping down the pills? Can they be opened, broken, or crushed?

-How often should i take it?When should I take it?

-Is it safe to take it with other drugs, food, vitamins, herbs, supplements, or other treatments you use?

-What should I do if I miss a dose?

-How should I store it?

-What are the likely side effects? How should I report them if I have them? How can I get in touch with you if I have trouble late at night or over the weekend?

-How long will I need to take the oral chemo?For how long will my therapy last?

-Will my insurance pay for oral chemo?

- Will my other health problems stop me from being able to follow your instructions? Is there a chance my other health problems could make me forget to take my oral chemo?

-Will you be calling me to find out how I am doing with the chemo? How often will you need to see me in the office?

Before starting oral chemo, discuss any concerns or questions you have with your health team. Get answers to all of your questions about oral chemo before you start taking it.

You should have clear and specific instructions on how and when to use your chemotherapy drugs. Make sure you follow your health teams instructions to the letter, do not adjust the instructions you were given at all.Take it all just the way your doctor or nurse has told you to.

If you start experiencing problems let your doctor know about them as soon as possible. For instance, if you are throwing up or feel sick to your stomach, you may feel too sick to take your chemo. Or, if you are throwing up, you may not be able to keep your chemo down and may throw up your treatment dose. Your doctor needs to know about any problems so he or she can tell you about whether or not you need changes in your treatment plan.

Bello kamorudeen.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Practical Ways by Which You Can Be of Help to Your Mesothelioma Friend

Your friend that has come down with mesothelioma cancer may find it hard to ask for help or to appear vulnerable. Do not tell the person to "be brave" or to "be strong",when people do this to cancer victims they are only putting them under a lot of unnecessary pressure on them to act strong even when they do not feel up to it. Families can put subtle pressure on people with cancer by expecting or needing them to be strong all the time. In that case, you might play an important role for a friend who has cancer. He or she may know you well and trust you enough to confide in you, yet you don't have the emotional attachment and expectations of a family member. This kind of relationship can be a great gift for a person facing cancer.

Our basic human nature makes us want to distance ourselves from people that become seriously ill. When someone close to us develops mesothelioma cancer we are forced to confront our own fears about illness, weakness, or death. This may make us reluctant to interact with the affected person. But isolation can be a problem for people with cancer. Make an extra effort to reach out.

These are some of the ways by which you can help the mesothelioma cancer victim:

1-If your friend needs medical equipment or money for treatment, you can look into getting something donated or organize a raffle to help raise money. Or you can simply take up a collection to buy something that might not be covered by insurance.

2-The person with cancer may look to you for advice regarding financial worries, work issues, or other concerns. Be honest. Help if you can, but if you feel uncomfortable, say so. There are many places a person can get help and support, and you might suggest seeking the advice of a professional who is best suited to give that kind of guidance.

3-Keep your communication lines with the victim as open and free as possible. Continue to treat your friend as normally as possible, and talk about how the person is managing and what they need. But don't feel that you always have to talk about cancer. Include them in activities and social events. If they aren't up to doing something, let them be the one to decide to say no. Keep inviting them unless they tell you otherwise.

4-Ask what they could use; let them tell you what would be most helpful. Offer to help in specific ways.

5- Send or prepare a meal. Arrange a schedule of meal delivery.

6- Offer to help with child care. Arrange a schedule of day care pick-ups.

7-Offer a ride to and from treatment appointments.

8- Help run errands.

9- Offer to take phone calls if your friend is feeling tired and needs to rest.

10-Coordinate visits by groups, or coordinate sending cards, flowers, or gifts.

11-Honor your friend by making contributions to related charities, organizing blood drives, or making special efforts in his or her name.

12-Offer to do some research on their unanswered questions about cancer, or refer them to the American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345.

13-If the person agrees, plan a party when treatment is finished or on anniversary dates. Always check with the person with cancer before making party plans, including showing them the list of those invited.

Bello kamorudeen.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

What Are the Two Main Causes of Mesothelioma Cancer Pain?

Pain is most often caused by the mesothelioma cancer itself.Mesothelioma pain can also be due to the treatment or the tests done to diagnose cancer. You may also have pain that has nothing to do with your cancer or its treatment. Like anyone, you can get headaches, muscle strains, and other aches and pains.

1-Pain from the cancer

The type and the intensity of the pain you will experience depends on the stage of the cancer and your own pain threshold{tolerance for pain},we all have different to tolerance levels for pain.Most of the pain from the mesothelioma cancer is a as result of the tumor pressing on other sensitive organs like nerves, bones and other body organs.The more advanced the cancer the more likely the tumor will cause pain.

Spinal cord compression: When the tumor spreads to the spine, it can press on the spinal cord. This is called spinal cord compression. This pressure causes pain. It must be treated quickly to keep you from losing control of your bladder or bowel or being paralyzed. The first sign of the compression is usually back and/or neck pain. Coughing, sneezing, or other movements often make it worse. If you have this pain, get help right away. Your doctor can treat the cause of the pain and also give you medicine to relieve the pain. If you are treated for the compression soon after the pain begins, you can usually avoid serious outcomes such as bladder or bowel problems. Treatments usually involve radiation therapy to shrink the tumor. Or you may have surgery to remove the tumor followed by radiation.

Bone pain: This type of pain can happen when cancer spreads to the bones. Treatment may be aimed at controlling the cancer, or it can focus on the affected bones. External radiation may be aimed at the weakened bone. Sometimes a radioactive medicine is given that settles in the affected areas of bone and help to make them stronger. Bisphosphonates are other medicines that can help make diseased bones stronger and help keep bones from breaking. These are examples of treatments that are aimed at stopping the cause of the bone pain. You may still need opioids or other pain medicines, but sometimes these treatments can greatly reduce your pain.

2-Pain from procedures and surgery

Procedures and testing: Some tests used to diagnose cancer and to see how well the treatment is working are painful. If you and your doctors agree that such a procedure is needed, concern about pain should not keep you from having it done. Usually any pain you have during and after the procedure can be relieved. Your needs and the type of procedure to be done should dictate the kinds of medicine you can get for the pain. You may be told that the pain from the procedure can't be avoided or that it won't last long. Even so, you should ask for pain medicine if you need it.

Surgical pain: Surgery is often used to treat cancers that grow as solid tumors, but other treatments such as radiation or chemotherapy may also be given. Depending on the kind of surgery you have, some amount of pain is usually expected. Doctors prescribe pain medicines so that you do not have to be in pain when your surgery is over. If you tell your doctor or nurse that you are hurting after surgery, you can almost always get medicine to treat it right away. Pain due to surgery can last from a few days to a few weeks, depending on how extensive the surgery was.

Pain from other cancer treatments

Chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments can also cause pain in some people.This pain might discourage you from continuing with the treatment if it is not managed well. Talk to your doctor or nurse about any changes you notice or any pain you have. Some of the types of pain that can be caused by chemotherapy and radiotherapy are:

Peripheral neuropathy (PN): This condition refers to pain, burning, tingling, numbness, weakness, clumsiness, trouble walking, or unusual sensations in the hands and arms or legs and feet. Peripheral neuropathy can be caused by certain types of chemotherapy, though vitamin deficiencies, the cancer, and other problems can also cause it. Be sure and tell your doctor right away if you notice these kinds of problems.

Mouth sores (stomatitis or mucositis): Chemotherapy can cause sores and pain in the mouth and throat. The pain can be severe enough that people have trouble eating and drinking.

Radiation mucositis and other radiation injuries: Pain from external beam radiation depends on the part of the body that is treated. It can cause skin burns, mucositis (mouth sores), and scarring, all of which can result in pain. The throat, intestine, and bladder are also prone to radiation injury and you may have pain if these areas are treated.

Bello kamorudeen.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

5 Important Facts About Mesothelioma Cancer Pain

Mesothelioma cancer can be associated with pain in different areas of the body affected by the cancer.These are important facts that every mesothelioma victim should know about mesothelioma pain:

1- Mesothelioma cancer pain can almost always be relieved or lessened.

You have a lot of treatment options to manage your pain,some of these methods include the use of pain relieving drugs,other medical methods and even non medical methods.Work with your medical team to find the best therapy to control your pain and give you as much comfort as possible.

You might also need to seek for extra help from some other medical experts apart from your doctor as pain control is an area that even most doctors have very little knowledge about. Even though a lot of progress has been made, some doctors and nurses do not know the best ways to treat cancer pain.

If you are still experiencing considerable pain after receiving all the treatment your doctor has to offer seek to see a pain specialist or have your doctor consult with a pain specialist. Pain specialists may be oncologists, anesthesiologists, neurologists, neurosurgeons, other doctors, nurses, or pharmacists. A pain control team may also include psychologists and social workers.

If you have trouble finding a pain program or pain specialist, contact a cancer center, a hospice, or the oncology department of your local hospital or medical center. They should be able to recommend someone to you.

2-Controlling your cancer pain is part of your cancer treatment.

Your doctor wants and needs to hear about what works for your pain and what does not. Knowing about the pain will help your doctor know more about how the cancer and the treatment are affecting your body. Talking about pain will not distract your doctor from treating the cancer.

3-Keeping pain from starting and keeping it from getting worse are the best ways to control it.

The best way to treat pain is to quickly nip the pain in the bud when it is still in its early stages. This is sometimes referred to as "staying on top of the pain" by some people. Do not wait at all and do not try to hold off as long as possible between doses. Pain may get worse if you wait. The worse the pain gets the longer the duration of treatment that will be needed to get relief and the higher the doses of pain killers that will be needed to bring the pain under control.

4-You have a right to ask for pain relief.

Talking about your pain is not a sign of weakness. Not everyone feels pain in the same way. There is no need to "tough it out" or be "brave" if you seem to have more pain than other people with the same kind of cancer. In fact, as soon as you have any pain you should speak up. Remember, it is easier to control pain right when it starts rather than waiting until after it becomes severe.

5-People who take cancer pain medicines the way the doctor or nurse tells them to rarely become addicted to them.

Addiction is a common fear of people taking pain medicine. Such fear may even keep people from taking the medicine. Or it may cause family members to encourage you to hold off as long as you can between doses.

Addiction is defined as uncontrollable drug craving, seeking, and continued use. When opioids (also known as narcotics) -- the strongest pain relievers available, are taken for pain, they rarely cause addiction as defined here. When you are ready to stop taking opioids, the doctor will lower the amount of medicine you are taking over a few days or weeks. By the time you stop using it completely, your body has had time to adjust. Talk to your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist about how to take pain medicines safely and about any concerns you have about addiction.

Monday, January 18, 2010

How Can Mesothelioma Pain Be Treated Medically Without The Use Of Medication?

Some people have mesothelioma cancer pain that is not relieved by drugs or non-medical methods. When this happens, some other medical non drug related methods can be used to relieve the cancer pain. These other methods include:

- Procedures to help stop pain impulses from going through the nerves


Nerve pathways that carry pain impulses to the brain can be blocked,leading to reduced pain perception. To block these pathways, a neurosurgeon may cut nerves, usually near the spinal cord. When the nerves that relay pain are destroyed, feelings of pain, pressure, and temperature can no longer be felt. Only surgeons with special skills, who are also expert in pain management should do this kind of surgery. These surgeons normally work with other pain specialists to explore other methods of pain control before they cut nerves.

Nerve block

A nerve block is a procedure where a local anesthetic (a numbing drug), which may be combined with a steroid, is injected into or around a nerve or into the space around the spinal cord to block pain. After the injection, the nerve is no longer able to relay pain so the pain is relieved for some time. For longer lasting pain relief, phenol or alcohol can be injected. A nerve block may cause muscle paralysis or a loss of all feeling in the affected area.

Spinal analgesia

Low doses of pain medicine may be injected into the fluid around the spine (called intrathecal injection). If this works, a tube and a pump may be used to deliver the pain medicine directly into the spinal fluid to control the pain. Morphine is often used for this purpose, and you can still have side effects like itching and constipation. Surgery is done to put the small pump into your body.


Certain kinds of pain may respond to pain medicine that is injected into the space around the layers of the spine. If this works, a pump can be implanted so that you can get pain medicines directly around the nerves. Numbness or weakness of the treated area can result.

Other cancer treatments might be given to shrink the tumor:

Sometimes,when mesothelioma cancer pain is caused by the size of the tumor pressing on nearby pain sensitive nerves,the tumor size can be reduced by shrinking the tumor to relieve the pressure effect of the tumor on the nearby nerves, thus reducing pain.These method is not aimed at achieving a cure for the cancer , it is just aimed at reducing the pain caused by the cancer. Chemotherapy, hormone therapy, or radiation may be used in this way.There are also some surgical procedures that can also be used to shrink the tumors ,these surgeries are known as debulking procedures.

Radioactive injections are sometimes used when the cancer has spread to many places in the bone -- the radioactive drug settles in the bones near the cancer and helps to stop its growth and relieve pain. In a few cases, other treatments like radiofrequency ablation can be used in certain areas of the body. In this treatment, electrodes are inserted near the tumor to heat and destroy the cancer.

Bello kamorudeen.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

How Can You Use Non Medical Treatments to Treat Mesothelioma Pain?

The use of medical methods of treatment to treat mesothelioma pain might not be sufficient to treat the pain effectively, so you might need to try out some other non medical modes of treating mesothelioma pain.

These non-medical treatments are now widely used to help manage cancer pain. Many techniques are used along with pain medicine, though they can also be used alone. Some people find they can take a lower dose of medicine when using these techniques. These methods include: relaxation, biofeedback, imagery, distraction, hypnosis, skin stimulation, transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation (TENS), acupuncture, exercise or physical therapy, and emotional support and counseling.

You may need the help of health professionals, social workers, physical therapists, psychologists, nurses, or others .To learn to use these techniques. Family and friends can also help. To find out who specializes in these techniques and which organizations know about them:

* Talk with your doctor or nurse.
* Contact a local hospice, cancer treatment center, or pain clinic.
* Visit your local bookstores or library.

Pain may be a sign that the cancer has spread, an infection has started, or there are problems caused by the cancer treatment. Because of this, you should report any new pain problems to the doctor or nurse before trying any non-medical treatments to relieve the pain.

These non medical treatment methods include:


Relaxation helps relieve pain or keep it from getting worse by reducing tension in the muscles. It can help you fall asleep, give you more energy, make you less tired, reduce your anxiety, and help other pain relief methods work better. Some people, for instance, find that taking pain medicine or using a cold or hot pack works faster and better when they relax at the same time.

How to use relaxation

Relaxation may be done sitting up or lying down. Choose a quiet place whenever possible. Close your eyes. Do not cross your arms and legs because that may cut off circulation and cause numbness or tingling. If you are lying down, be sure you are comfortable. Put a small pillow under your neck and under your knees or use a low stool to support your lower legs.


Learning this technique requires the help of a licensed biofeedback technician. With the help of special machines that give you instant feedback on the state of your body, people can learn to control certain body functions such as heart rate, blood pressure, and muscle tension. Biofeedback is sometimes used to help people learn to relax. You can use biofeedback to help you relax and cope with pain. This technique is usually used with other pain relief methods.


Imagery is using your imagination to create mental pictures or situations. The way imagery relieves pain is not fully understood. Imagery can be thought of as a deliberate daydream that uses all of your senses -- sight, touch, hearing, smell, and taste. Some people believe that imagery is a form of self-hypnosis. Certain images may reduce your pain both during imagery and for hours afterward. If you must stay in bed or can't leave the house, you may find that imagery helps you feel less closed in -- you can imagine and revisit your favorite spots in your mind. Imagery can help you relax, relieve boredom, decrease anxiety, and help you sleep.

How to use imagery

Imagery usually works best with your eyes closed. You may want to use one of the above relaxation techniques before you try imagery. The image can be something like a ball of healing energy moving through your body, or a picture drawn in your mind of yourself as a person without pain. (For example, imagine that you are cutting the wires that send pain signals from each part of your body to your brain.) Or think of a pleasant, safe, relaxing place or activity that has made you happy. Exploring this place or activity in your mind can help you feel calm.


Distraction means turning your attention to something other than the pain. People use this method without realizing it when they watch television or listen to the radio to take their minds off a worry or their pain.

Distraction may be used alone to manage mild pain or used with medicine to manage brief episodes of severe pain, such as pain related to procedures. Distraction is useful when you are waiting for pain medicine to start working. If the pain is mild, you may be able to distract yourself for hours. Distraction can be a powerful way of relieving even the most intense pain for awhile.


Hypnosis is the trance-like state of high concentration in which you are awake but calm and still. In this relaxed state, a person becomes more open to suggestion. Hypnosis can be used to block the awareness of pain, to substitute another feeling for the pain, and to change the sensation to one that is not painful. You can be hypnotized by a person trained in hypnosis, often a psychologist or psychiatrist. You can also be trained to hypnotize yourself.

During hypnosis, many people feel much like we do when we begin to awaken in the morning. We can't quite open our eyes, but are very aware. We can hear sounds inside or outside our house. Our eyes remain closed, and we feel as though we either can't or don't want to wake up and open our eyes.

A trained hypnotherapist can teach people to put themselves in a hypnotic state, make positive suggestions to themselves, and to leave the hypnotic state.

Choose a hypnotherapist who is licensed in the healing arts or who works under the supervision of someone who is licensed. To find a therapist skilled in hypnosis, contact the behavioral medicine department at a cancer center near you.

-Skin stimulation

This method of treatment uses, pressure, warmth, or cold on the skin to lessen or block the feeling of pain. Massage, pressure, vibration, heat, cold, and menthol preparations can also be used to stimulate the skin. These techniques also alter the flow of blood to the area that is stimulated. Sometimes skin stimulation will get rid of pain or lessen pain during the stimulation and for hours after it is finished.

Skin stimulation is done either on or near the area of pain. You can also use skin stimulation on the side of the body opposite the pain. For example, you might stimulate the left knee to decrease the pain in the right knee. Stimulating the skin in areas away from the pain can be used to increase relaxation and may relieve pain.


In acupuncture, thin needles are put into the body at certain points and at various depths and angles. Each point is thought to control the feeling of pain in a different part of the body. When the needle is inserted, some people feel a slight ache, dull pain, tingling, or electrical sensation for a few seconds. Once the needles are in place, they should not hurt any more. The needles are usually left in place for 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the condition treated. It does not hurt when the needles are removed. Acupuncture is now a widely accepted method to help with pain, but it should only be done by a licensed acupuncturist. Ask your doctor, nurse, or social worker where to get acupuncture.

Precaution: If you are getting chemotherapy, talk to your doctor before starting acupuncture.

Emotional support and counseling

If you feel anxious or depressed, your pain may feel worse. Pain also can make you feel worried, depressed, or easily discouraged. Some people feel hopeless or helpless. Others may feel embarrassed, inadequate, angry, frightened, lonely, or frantic. These are all normal feelings.

Finding support

Try to talk about your feelings with someone you feel comfortable with -- doctors, nurses, social workers, family or friends, a member of the clergy, or other people with cancer. You may also wish to talk to a counselor or a mental health professional. Your doctor, nurse, or the social services department at your local hospital can help you find a counselor who is specially trained to help people with chronic illnesses.

You may want to try a support group where people with cancer meet and share their feelings about how they have coped with cancer. Support groups can be face-to-face meetings or you can meet in a group online. For information about support groups in your community and online, ask your doctor, nurse, or hospital social worker or call us at 1-800-ACS-2345 (1-800-227-2345). Also, many newspapers carry a special health supplement with information about where to find support groups.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

How Can Mesothelioma Pain Be Treated With the Use of Medication?

One of the main ways by which mesothelioma pain can be treated is with the use of proper medication.

However,the type of medicine and the way the medicine is given depend on the type and cause of pain. For example, chronic pain is best relieved by methods that deliver a steady dose of pain medicine over a long period of time, such as a patch that releases medicine through the skin or slow-release oral tablets. On the other hand, breakthrough pain {Breakthrough pain is flare of pain that happens even though you are taking pain medicine regularly for persistent pain. It's called breakthrough pain because it "breaks through" the pain relief you get from the regular pain medicine schedule}is best treated with medicines that work fast (quick release), but stay in the system only for a short time.

Below is an overview of the types of medicines used to relieve pain.

For mild to moderate pain

Non-opioids: Acetaminophen (Tylenol®) and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin and ibuprofen are often used.

You can buy many of these over the counter (without a prescription). For others, you need a prescription. Check with your doctor before using these medicines. NSAIDs can slow blood clotting. This may be a problem if you are having surgery or getting chemotherapy.

For moderate to severe pain

Opioids (also known as narcotics): Morphine, fentanyl, hydromorphone, oxycodone, and codeine may be used.

You need a written prescription for these medicines. Non-opioids may be used along with opioids for moderate to severe pain to get the best effect.

For breakthrough pain

Rapid-onset opioids: Fast acting oral morphine; fentanyl in a lozenge or "sucker" form (these forms of fentanyl absorb directly from your mouth as you suck on them, they are not swallowed)

You need a written prescription for these medicines. A short-acting opioid, which relieves breakthrough pain quickly, is often used with a long-acting opioid for chronic pain.

For tingling and burning pain

Antidepressants: Amitriptyline, nortriptyline, and desipramine.

You need a prescription for these medicines. Antidepressants are also prescribed to relieve some types of pain. Taking an antidepressant does not mean that you are depressed or have a mental illness.

Anti-convulsants (anti-seizure medicines): Carbamazepine, gabapentin, and phenytoin

You need a prescription for these medicines. Despite the name, anti-convulsants are used not only for convulsions, but also to control burning and tingling pain.

For pain caused by swelling or pressure

Steroids: Prednisone, dexamethasone.

You need a prescription for these medicines. They are used to lessen swelling, which often causes pressure and pain.

How is pain medicine given?

Some people think that if their pain becomes severe, they will need to get injections or "shots" of pain medicine. In fact, shots are rarely given to relieve cancer pain. There are many other ways you can take pain medicine.

* Oral -- means the drug is taken by mouth, either by being swallowed or melted in the mouth. Medicine is given as a liquid, pill, capsule, or in transmucosal form (lozenge or "sucker" where the drug absorbs directly from the mouth).

* Skin patch -- a clear, bandage-like patch placed on the skin, which slowly but continuously releases the medicine through the skin for 2 to 3 days. This form of medicine is less likely to cause nausea and vomiting.

* Rectal suppositories -- medicine that dissolves in the rectum and is absorbed by the body.

* Injections

Subcutaneous (SC) injection -- medicine is placed just under the skin using a small needle.

Intravenous (IV) injection -- medicine goes directly into the vein through a needle, port, or catheter.

Intrathecal and epidural injections -- medicine is placed directly into the fluid around the spinal cord (intrathecal) or into the space around the spinal cord (epidural).

* Pump, or patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) -- with this method, you can help control the amount of pain medicine you take. When you need pain relief, you can press a button to get a pre-set dose of pain medicine through a computerized pump that is connected to a small tube going into your body. The medicine is injected into a vein (intravenously), just under the skin (subcutaneously), or into the area around the spine.

What are the side effects of pain medicine?

All drugs have side effects and pain killers are no exception.Each type of pain medicine however has its own peculiar side effects, even those that you can buy over the counter.

-Some, such as aspirin or ibuprofen (and others in that family of drugs) can cause stomach irritation, or even bleeding from ulcerations, and should be taken with food.

-Many side effects from opioid pain medicine can be prevented. Constipation, for instance, is easier to prevent than to treat. Most doctors will start you on a plan to prevent constipation at the same time they start your opioid pain medicines. Some mild side effects such as nausea, itching, or drowsiness, often go away without further treatment after a few days, as your body adjusts to the medicine. Let your doctor or nurse know if you are having any side effects and ask for help in managing them.

-More serious side effects of pain medicine are rare. As with the more common ones, they often happen in the first few hours of treatment. These serious side effects are: difficulty in breathing,dizziness, and rashes. If you have any of these side effects, you should call your doctor right away.

You should avoid taking medicines to calm you down (sedatives or tranquilizers), alcohol, or take sleeping pills, when you are on opoids as you raise your risk of serious side effects from opioids.Taking opoids and these other drugs has led to the deaths of some people. Make sure you discuss with your doctor before you start taking opioids for pain.

Also the use of aspirin, ibuprofen, and other NSAIDs are contraindicated{should be avoided totally} when you are having chemotherapy. If you are on mesothelioma chemotherapy make sure you discuss with your doctor before you take non-prescription pain relievers.

Bello kamorudeen.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

How Can You Treat Mesothelioma Cancer Pain?

Mesothelioma cancer often causes pain for the victims and you need to know how best to manage the pain so that the stress usually caused by the pain will be relived. You will have to inform your doctor and medical team about the pain so that they can help you overcome the pain.

Your doctor will want to find out more about what is causing your pain because that will affect how the pain is treated. Drugs, procedures, cancer treatments, or even surgeries may be used in special ways to manage your pain.

If you have severe pain, your doctor or your cancer team will want to find treatment that best relieves your pain with the fewest side effects. You will need to stay in touch and let the doctor know how the pain treatment is working and how you are doing day to day. The goal is an effective pain control plan that works for you.

Cancer pain is usually treated with drugs that are called analgesics. You can buy some very good pain relievers without a prescription or doctor's order (for example, aspirin, acetaminophen, or ibuprofen). These medicines are also called non-prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) analgesics. OTC pain medicines can be used alone for mild pain, and along with other medicines for more severe pain. For other medicines, you will need a prescription. Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist for advice before you take any medicine for pain. Medicines are mostly safe when they are used properly, but they can be very harmful if not managed carefully.

For some conditions, medicines and non-medical treatments may not work well. But there are special pain treatments that can often be used for these kinds of cancer pain. For instance, doctors may use radiation to shrink the tumor; surgery to remove all or part of the tumor; nerve blocks in which medicine is injected into or around a nerve or into the spine to block the pain; neurosurgery, where nerves are cut to relieve the pain, and more.

You may also use non-medical treatments such as relaxation techniques, biofeedback, guided imagery, and others along with the medicines.

You need to develop a pain control plan:

The first step in developing a plan is talking with your doctor, nurse, and pharmacist about your pain. You need to be able to describe your pain to your family or friends too. You may want to have your family or friends help you talk to your health care team about your pain, especially if you are too tired or in too much pain to talk to them yourself.

Using a pain scale is helpful in describing how much pain you are feeling. To use the Pain Intensity Scale below, try to assign a number from 0 to 10 to your pain level. If you have no pain, use a 0. As the numbers get higher, they stand for pain that is getting worse. A 10 means it is the worst pain you can imagine.

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
0- no pain
10-worst pain

For example, you could say, "My pain is a 7 on a scale of 0 to 10."

Tell your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, and family or friends:

* where you feel pain
* what is the nature of the pain,how does it feel like? is the pain sharp, dull, throbbing, gnawing, burning, shooting, or steady?
* how strong the pain is (using the 0 to10 scale)
* how long it lasts
* what eases the pain
* what makes the pain worse
* how the pain affects your daily life
* what medicines you are taking for the pain and how much relief you get from them

Your doctor, nurse, and pharmacist may also need to know:

* the medicines you are taking now, including vitamins, minerals, herbs, and non-prescription medicines

* the pain medicines you have taken in the past, including what has worked and not worked for you. You may want to keep records of this information.

* any known allergies to medicines, foods, dyes, or additives

When you go to the doctor, bring all your medicines, vitamins, minerals, herbs, and non-prescription drugs with you. Show them to the doctor and explain how you take them. Questions you may want to ask your doctor or nurse about pain medicine:

* How much medicine should I take? what is the normal dose?

* If my pain is not relieved, can I take more?what is the maximum dose that i can take?

* If the dose should be increased, by how much?

* Should I call you before increasing the dose?

* What if I forget to take it or take it too late?

* Should I take my medicine with food?

* How much liquid should I drink with the medicine?

* How soon will i begin to notice the effects of these pain medications?

* Is it safe to drink alcohol, drive, or operate machinery after I have taken pain medicine?

* Are there some other medications that are safe to take with these pain medications?

* What medicines should make sure i avoid while i am on these pain medications?

* What are the likely side effects of the drugs and how can they be prevented ? and how can they be managed?

Bello kamorudeen.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Great Advice on How You Can Help a Grieving Mesothelioma Relative

Since most mesothelioma victims die within a year of diagnosis,friends and well wishers of the relatives of the mesothelioma victims are often at loss at how they can help the grieving relatives of the mesothelioma victims who have passed on.This article gives some very useful advice for friends of such relatives.

Most people feel awkward when trying to comfort someone who is grieving. We just do not know what to say or do. These following suggestions can guide you:

What should you say?

-Do not deny the situation,acknowledge the reality of the present situation. Example: "I heard that your_____ died." Use the word "died." This shows that you are more open to talk about how the person really feels.

-Show and express your genuine concern. Example: "I'm sorry to hear that this happened to you."

-Be genuine in your communication and don't hide your feelings. Example: "I'm not sure what to say, but I want you to know I care."

-Offer your support. Example: " IF there is anything i can do to help please let me know."

-Ask how the bereaved person feels. Don't assume you know how they will feel on any given day.

What to do

-Be there. Even if you do not know what to say, your presence alone at such times can be very comforting.

-Listen and give support. But do not try to force someone to talk if they are not ready to talk.

-Be a good listener. Accept whatever feelings the person expresses rather than telling them how they should cope with the loss. Never tell them how they should feel.

-Give reassurance without minimizing the loss. Try to have empathy with the person without assuming you know exactly how they feel.

-Offer to help with errands, shopping, housework, cooking, driving, or yard work. Sometimes people want help and sometimes they don't. Although they may not take you up on your offer, remember they are not rejecting you or your friendship.

-Avoid telling the person "You're so strong." This puts pressure on the person to hold in feelings and keep acting "strong."

-Continue to offer support even after the first shock wears off. Recovery takes a long time.

-It may help to check in with the bereaved on anniversaries of the death, marriage, and birthday of the deceased, since those can be especially difficult.

If the grieving person begins to abuse alcohol or drugs, neglects personal hygiene, develops physical problems, or talks about suicide, it may be a sign of complicated grief or depression. You or someone close to them should suggest to them to get professional help.

If you notice that the grieving person is showing suicidal tendencies,make sure you do not leave the person alone to be by himself/herself.Make sure that the person gets help from his/her doctor or the nearest emergency room as soon as possible. someone is thinking about suicide, do not leave him or her alone. If that is not possible, call 911. If you can safely do so, remove firearms and other tools for suicide.

Bello kamorudeen.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Important Advice to Help You Cope With a Mesothelioma Loss

Unfortunately mesothelioma is often a terminal disease leading most times to the death of our loved ones.

When a person loses someone important to them, they go through a normal process called grieving. Grieving is a natural and expected process which, over time, can allow the person to accept and understand their loss. Grieving involves feeling many different emotions over time, all of which help the person come to terms with the loss of a loved one.

Bereavement and mourning are both part of the grieving process. Bereavement is what a person goes through when someone close to them dies. It is the state of having suffered a loss. Mourning is the outward expression of loss and grief. Mourning includes rituals and other actions that are specific to each person's culture, personality, and religion.

Ideally, the bereaved person will work through the process of grieving. With time and support, they will accept and make sense of the loss, experience the pain, and adapt to a new life and identity.

If you or someone you know has lost a loved one to mesothelioma, the following suggestions may help you cope with the loss:

-Let yourself feel the pain and all the other emotions as well. Don't tell yourself how to feel or let others tell you how you should feel.

-Be patient with the process. Don't pressure yourself with expectations. Accept that you need to experience your pain, your emotions, and your own way of healing all in your own time. Don't judge your emotions or compare yourself to others. Remember that no one else can tell you how you should mourn and when to stop.

-Let your emotions flow outside, do not bottle them up. If you feel like crying go ahead and cry. It is good for your for healing.

-Get support. Talk about your loss, your memories, and your experience of the life and death of your loved one. Do not think you are protecting your family and friends by not expressing your sadness. Ask others for what you need. Find and talk to others who have lost a loved one.

-Try to maintain your normal lifestyle. Avoid major life changes (for example, moving, changing jobs, changing important relationships) within the first year of bereavement. This will allow you to keep your roots and some sense of security.

-Take care of yourself: eat well and exercise. Physical activity is a good way to release tension. Allow yourself small physical pleasures that help you renew yourself, like hot baths, naps, and favorite foods.

-Do not take too much alcohol or using other drugs. This can only compound your problems, it can harm your body as well as dull your emotions. It is likely to slow your recovery and may cause new problems.

-Forgive yourself for all the things you said or didn't say or do.Do not heap unnecessary blames on your self. Compassion and forgiveness for yourself and others is important in healing.

-Give yourself a break from grief. Although you must work through grief, you do not need to focus on it all the time. It is healthy to find distractions like going to a movie, dinner, or a ball game; reading a good book; listening to music; or getting a massage or manicure.

-Prepare for holidays and anniversaries knowing that strong feelings may come back. Decide if you want to keep certain traditions or create new ones. Plan in advance how you want to spend your time and with whom. Do something to honor the memory of your loved one.

-Join a bereavement support group. Other people can encourage, guide, and comfort you. They can also offer practical suggestions and information, and help you feel less alone. If you can't find a group near you, online groups may be helpful.

When you feel ready, do something creative. Things you could do include:

* write a letter to the person who died to say everything you wish you could say to them

* keep a journal

* make a scrapbook

* paint pictures

* plant flowers or trees

* involve yourself in a cause or activity that the deceased loved

: Bello kamorudeen.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

How Do You Cope With Depression in Mesothelioma?

Most patients, families, and caregivers face some degree of depression, anxiety, and fear when mesothelioma becomes part of their lives. These feelings are normal responses to such a life-changing experience.

In people with this type of cancer, these feelings may be caused by many things, including changes in how they are able to fill family or work roles, the loss of control over life events, body image changes, fear of death, fear of suffering and pain, or fear of the unknown. Family members may have these feelings because they are afraid of losing their loved one. They may also feel angry because someone they love has cancer, frustrated that they cannot "do enough," or stressed because they have to do more at home.

It's important to remember that people can feel distress at any time after cancer diagnosis and treatment, even many years after the cancer is treated. As their health situations change, people with cancer must cope with new stressors along with the old, and their feelings often change, too. For instance, people with advanced mesothelioma cancer may have more emotional distress than those with earlier-stage mesothelioma cancers.

People who have physical symptoms such as pain, nausea, or extreme tiredness (fatigue) also seem more likely to have emotional distress. Most of the time, these physical symptoms can be controlled with medicines but it may take more than one try to find the right drug or combination of drugs. This is one reason to stay in touch with your cancer care team, so that they can help you with these kinds of symptoms before you feel overwhelmed.

It is normal to grieve over the changes that cancer brings to a person’s life. The future, which may have seemed so sure before, now becomes uncertain. Some dreams and plans may be lost forever. But if you are caring for a person who has been sad for a long time or is having trouble carrying out day-to-day activities, that person may have clinical depression. In fact, up to 1 in 4 people with cancer do have clinical depression. Clinical depression causes great distress, impairs functioning, and may even make the person with cancer less able to follow their cancer treatment plan. The good news is that clinical depression can be treated.

If you are caring for someone who has symptoms of clinical depression, encourage him or her to get help. There are many treatments for clinical depression including medicines, counseling, or a combination of both. Treatments can reduce suffering and improve your loved one's quality of life.

Symptoms of clinical depression

-ongoing sad or "empty" mood for most of the day

-loss of interest or pleasure in almost all activities most of the time

-major weight loss (when not dieting) or weight gain

- being "slowed down" or restless and agitated almost every day, enough for others to notice

-extreme tiredness (fatigue) or loss of energy

-trouble sleeping with early waking, sleeping too much, or not being able to sleep

- trouble focusing thoughts, remembering, or making decisions

-feeling guilty, worthless, or helpless

- frequent thoughts of death or suicide (not just fear of death), suicide plans or attempts

Keep in mind that some of these symptoms, such as weight changes, fatigue, or even forgetfulness can be caused by cancer treatment. But if 5 or more of these symptoms happen nearly every day for 2 weeks or more, or are severe enough to interfere with normal activities, encourage the person you are caring for to be checked for clinical depression by a qualified health or mental health professional. If your loved one tries to hurt himself or herself, or has a plan to do so, get help right away.

Steps to take to overcome the depression are:

-Encourage the depressed person to continue treatment until symptoms improve, or to talk to the doctor about different treatment if there is no improvement after 2 or 3 weeks.

-Promote physical activity, especially mild exercise such as daily walks.

-Help make appointments for mental health treatment, if needed.

-Provide transportation for treatment, if needed.

-Engage your loved one in conversation and other activities they enjoy.

-Realize that negative thinking is one of the symptoms of depression and should get better with treatment.

-Reassure your loved one that with time and treatment, he or she will begin to feel better.

Keep in mind that caregivers and family members can also become depressed. If you suspect you may be depressed, see a doctor. Make time to get the help and support you need. If you notice symptoms in another friend or family member, try to get them help.

Bello kamorudeen.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Information-Your Number Key For Coping With Mesothelioma Cancer

After you receive a diagnosis of mesothelioma you number one priority should be to get adequate information about the disease so that you can make the right informed decisions on the necessary steps you need to take.

When looking for information about mesothelioma cancer, first know what type of mesothelioma you have,the pleural mesothelioma is the commonest but there are also other types of mesothelioma depending on the part of the body that is affected by the cancer. Talk with your health care team. Ask them for information about your specific type of cancer, including the cell type and the stage (extent) of your cancer. This is helpful because your cancer treatment will be designed for just you.

The stage of the cancer, as well as other factors, will help determine the goal of treatment. Most types of mesothelioma cancer treatment have 1 of these 3 goals: provide a cure, control the disease, or ease symptoms of the cancer and help make the patient comfortable. Sometimes the treatment goal changes after treatment has started. Talk with your doctor, and make sure you understand what your treatment options are, so you can make the best decisions for you and your family.

We live in an information-packed age. Cancer information can be complex and confusing. To find accurate and up-to-date information, use reliable sources, such as journals or Web sites from well-respected cancer centers, national cancer organizations, health professional organizations.One good source of information is, you will find the necessary information you need in a very easy to understand manner.

Look for information that has been reviewed by medical experts, is updated often, and states the purpose of the information. When you get information, discuss it with your health care team to find out if and how it applies to you. Remember, written information cannot take the place of medical advice from your doctor or cancer care team.

Getting information from your health care team

Learning all they can about you and your cancer is the first step your health care team will take. A biopsy and other lab tests, physical exams, and imaging tests will be done to figure out the stage (extent) of your cancer. Next your doctor uses all of this information to narrow down options and recommend treatment. Your doctor may talk with other doctors and health care professionals to help plan your treatment. You may also wish to get a second opinion at another treatment center. Getting a second opinion may help you feel more comfortable when deciding on your best treatment option.

Talking to doctors, nurses, and other members of the health care team is very important for people diagnosed with cancer. Your health care team can tell you where to look for information about your type of cancer and its treatment. They can answer your questions, give you support, and refer you to community resources. Allow yourself to take in information at your own pace. You decide when you are ready to talk, when you want to learn more about your cancer, and how much you want to learn.

Ask questions

Doctors and nurses are good sources of information when you have medical questions. Before appointments, write down any questions you may have about your type of cancer, treatment, side effects, and any limits on activity you might have during treatment. Other members of your health care team, such as pharmacists, dietitians, social workers, physical therapists, and radiation therapists are experts in different areas. Don't be afraid to ask them questions, too. Asking questions shows you want to learn and take an active role in your treatment. If the health care team member does not have time to answer all of your questions, ask when a good time would be to finish your conversation or ask about other ways to get the answers you need.

Know how to reach your doctor at any time

People with cancer must know when they need to call the doctor. Ask which side effects or unusual signs need to be reported right away. Some things can wait until the next office visit, or until regular office hours when you can call and speak to a nurse. But if you are having severe or unexpected side effects, you need to know how to reach your doctor when the office is closed. Be sure you have this phone number and that your loved ones have it, too.

Family members may wish to speak with members of your health care team. This can help them answer questions and find support to deal with their feelings. Your health care team is bound by law to keep information about your health confidential. They will not discuss your health status with family members and friends unless you give your written permission for them to do so. Let your doctors and nurses know which family members and friends may be contacting them and with whom they can share information.

Feel at ease with your health care team

Ideally an health care giver should patient, understanding, have all the time in the world to answer questions, and know how to explain things to you so you could easily understand, finding all of this in most health professionals is rare. Most times if you find most of the qualities you want in your health team you will just have to cope with the other little missing deficiencies.Still, it is important for you to trust your doctor and other members of the health care team. If you feel a lack of trust and open communication is keeping you from getting good medical care, ask for a referral to another doctor with whom you feel more comfortable. Also, don't be afraid to ask your doctor for a referral for a second opinion. You will need to be an active member of your health care team. As an active team member, you will need to do things like keep your scheduled appointments, take medicines as prescribed, and report side effects.

Bello kamorudeen.

Friday, January 8, 2010

How You Can Cope With the Emotional Burden of a Mesothelioma Diagnosis

A diagnosis of mesothelioma affects not only you, but also your family and friends. You may feel afraid, uncertain, or angry about the unwanted changes cancer will bring to your life and theirs. You may feel numb or confused. You may have trouble listening to, understanding, or remembering what people tell you during this time. This is especially true when your doctor first tells you that you have cancer. It is not uncommon for people to shut down mentally once they hear the word "cancer."

There is nothing fair about cancer and no one "deserves" to have it. A cancer diagnosis is hard to take and having cancer is not easy. When you find out you have cancer, your personal beliefs and experiences help you figure out what the diagnosis means to you and how you will handle it. As you face your own mortality and cope with the many demands of cancer, you may look more closely at your religious beliefs, your personal and family values, and what's most important in your life. Accepting the diagnosis and figuring out how cancer fits into your life is challenging.

After you are diagnosed with cancer, you may feel shock, disbelief, fear, anxiety, guilt, sadness, grief, depression, and anger. Each person may have some or all of these feelings, and each will handle them in a different way.

Your first emotion may be shock, because no one is ever ready to hear that they have cancer. It is normal for people with cancer to wonder why it happened to them or to think life has treated them unfairly. You may not even believe the diagnosis, especially if you don't feel sick.

You may be afraid. While some people fear cancer itself, others may be afraid of cancer treatments and wonder how they will get through them. Fear of pain and suffering is one of the greatest fears people with cancer and their loved ones have.

You may feel guilty. You may ask yourself could you have noticed your symptoms earlier, or wonder what you've done that may have caused the cancer. You may wonder if you were exposed to something at home or work that led to cancer. Or you may worry that other members of your family will also get cancer. Mesothelioma is strongly linked to the exposure to asbestos especially in working places in the past.It is also possible that other members of the family would have been exposed to asbestos in the working clothes of the victims which they brought home from work,so they too could come down with mesothelioma.

You may feel hopeless or sad if you see cancer as a roadblock to a life full of health and happiness. It is hard to feel positive and upbeat, especially if the future is uncertain. Just thinking about treatment and the time it will take out of your life can seem like too much to handle. Feelings of sadness or uncertainty can be made worse by your experiences with cancer.

You may have a sense of loss linked to your cancer diagnosis and treatment. Cancer can change your sense of self, that is, how you think of your body, yourself, and your future. Grief is a normal response as you give up your old ideas of yourself and begin to develop ways to cope with the new, unwanted changes in your life. It may take time for you to become aware of these losses and changes. It can help if you share your grief with someone close to you. If there is no one near you that you want to confide in, you might want to see a mental health professional. Your feelings need care too, just like your physical body needs care.

You might feel angry. While some people may not outwardly express their anger and frustration, others may direct their anger toward family members, friends, or health care professionals. This is usually not done on purpose. If you are only trying to vent your feelings, let people know that you are not angry with them and know it is not their fault. Also let them know that you don't expect them to solve your problems--you just need them to listen.

How do you cope with these emotions?

"The best prescription is knowledge."
-- C. Everett Koop, MD, former United States Surgeon General

Some people believe it is easier to face the reality of a new or scary situation if they learn as much as they can about it. This is especially true when you are dealing with a complex group of diseases like cancer. There is often a great fear of the unknown and uncertainty about what is going to happen. Knowledge can help lessen the fear of the unknown. You can learn a lot about the type of cancer you have, its treatment, and your chances for recovery.

Be your own advocate. Even though people facing cancer cannot change their diagnosis, they can seek out reliable, up-to-date information and talk to family members, friends, and their health care team. Finding good sources of support can help people with cancer take control of their situation and make informed decisions.

It's important to work through your feelings about cancer, because how you feel can affect how you look at yourself, how you view life, and what decisions you make about treatment.

These tips can help you make your medical appointments as useful as possible:

-Make a list of questions to ask your health care team.

-Bring a family member or friend along to appointments. They can serve as an extra pair of ears, help you remember things later, and give you support.

-Ask if you can record important conversations.

-Take notes. If someone uses a word you don't know, ask them to spell it and explain it.

-Ask your health care team to explain anything you don't understand.

You will not be able to change many things in your life. Focus on what you can change to gain a greater sense of control over your situation.

Delores, cancer survivor: "Daily walks and, later, running helped me keep my sanity after I was diagnosed."

Other things you can do to deal with your emotions:

-Ask for support from family, friends, and others. Just having someone who cares and will listen to you can be very helpful. If friends or family members are not able to be supportive, find others who will. Health care professionals (such as social workers, psychologists, or other licensed health professionals) and support groups can be extra sources of support.

- Get spiritual support through prayer, meditation, or other practices that help you feel more at peace. You may want the guidance of a chaplain, pastor, rabbi, or other religious leader.

-Pay attention to your physical needs for rest, nutrition, and other self-care measures.

-Find ways to express your feelings, such as talking or writing in a journal.

-Allow yourself private time and space.

-Walk or exercise. It is a good idea to talk with your cancer care team about your plans before starting a new exercise program or activity.

-Find out what helped other patients and families cope with cancer, and/or talk with other people diagnosed with the same type of cancer.

-Make changes at home to create a healthier environment, and/or talk with your doctor about making healthy lifestyle choices.

If you are feeling down and sad all the time ,if you are experiencing sleeping difficulties and if you are having suicidal thoughts you will need to seek professional help. Also symptoms of feelings of panic, intense anxiety, or constant crying means that you need professional help. If you think you might need professional help, talk with your doctor.

Bello kamorudeen.