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After cancer: how to set the life and to avoid recurrence

Cancer, even if it is defeated, changes your life forever. Here everything is like in a real war: those who returned from the front can remain disabled - and are forced to adapt to the limited possibilities of their body.


Psychological trauma will remind of itself constantly, even if it is imperceptible from the side. And physical trauma only aggravates depression. And just like real front-line soldiers, oncologists do not know by what rules to live in peacetime, who to turn to for help and what in general they are entitled to.

When a person is told that the treatment is over and you can leave the hospital, he, of course, is experiencing joy. But also fear: "What if something happens, and there is nobody to complain outside the hospital?" The fear of relapse of the disease never lets go. It can hide, but sometimes breaks out. The regional oncologist has no time to work with fears - he deals with those who are still sick. 

Alexey Ilyukhov,

oncologist, surgeon, specialist in palliative medicine at the Radiation Therapy Center of the Onco-Stop project.

Fortunately, there are more and more volunteer and patient organizations that provide psychological assistance to cancer patients. You can contact hotlines:

8-800-301-02-09 - Association of Cancer Patients "Hello" (we already wrote about it).

8-800-100-01-91 - All-Russian hotline for psychological care for cancer patients and their loved ones "Clear Morning".

8-985-765-75-32 - Interregional Public Movement Against Cancer.

8-800-250-23-43 - Public organization of disabled, ostomy patients "Astom".

These organizations not only can provide psychological support, but also consult on legal issues. 

What is Rehabilitation? 

If you follow the development of the oncotema in the media, you can see how the accents are gradually shifting: 10 years ago, louder and most talked about prevention and early diagnosis, in the last two or three years, the main topics were anesthesia and palliative care for those already can not be cured. And only now - literally from this year - the voices of the "survivors", those who defeated the disease, can be heard, but have lost something in this struggle. To return to normal life, they need rehabilitation ... Rehabilitation is a complex of physical and pharmacological methods that help the body to recover faster after treatment.

This concept includes sports, consultation of a nutritionist, a psychologist, if necessary, a psychiatrist, gastroenterologist, neurologist and other specialists. This is a large complex program, which is designed for several months. The patient can undergo restoration both in the day center and in the in-patient center. Unfortunately, in Russia there are very few rehabilitation centers for the cancer unit. 

Anton Snegovoy,MD, head of the department of outpatient chemotherapy FGBU "National Medical Clinic of oncology named after NN Blokhin of The Russian Ministry of Health

«We are not even talking about sanatorium-resort treatment (it would be nice, but the state will not allocate money for such luxury in the near future), and the elementary education of patients and their relatives - how and how to eat, when you can not eat normal food, like care for the stoma (an artificial hole in the body), where to close (sew) stoma, if it is no longer needed ... After all, how to live and work among people, if your physiology is now different from normal and food you can pour into yourself only through the hole in the abdomen?

Ideally, the doctor should explain everything in detail to the patient's relatives and show how, for example, to work with stomas. Some hospitals have schools for patients and their relatives. We have a special rehabilitation department, where they teach you how to move on crutches, develop your arm after a radical operation on the breast. But on a national scale this, of course, is critically small, such offices should be everywhere” 

Alexey Ilyukhov, oncologist, surgeon, specialist in palliative medicine at the Radiation Therapy Center of the OncoStop project

Often one has to be content with only general recommendations for rehabilitation:

• observance of the work and rest regime;

• Physical activity (long walks per hour per day, aerobics classes);

• the correct diet (if necessary, nutrition);

• lack of stress;

• protection from hypothermia and exposure to infections.