Managing Chronic Cancer
We know your challenges are different
People in whom cancer has spread (metastasized) receive ongoing therapy, also called chronic cancer therapy. As someone with metastatic cancer, the challenges you face differ from those of people whose treatment ends. Our staff can help you through these challenges, which may include:
- Changes in your physical health and body from long-term treatment (physical toxicity).
- Additional chronic medical conditions (comorbidities).
- Financial struggles (loss of work, insurance problems, high costs of ongoing treatment).
- Changes in mental and emotional health (uncertainty, survivor guilt, social isolation).
Our staff can also help you continue with health screening and self-care, which can otherwise become overlooked.
Palliative care and pain management
The term “palliative” is often misunderstood because many associate it with care at the end of life. But palliative care begins as soon as you are diagnosed, even with early stage cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute, “Palliative care is an approach to care that addresses the person as a whole, not just their disease.”
How does palliative care differ from standard medical care? While medical care focuses mainly on curing a disease or treating a problem, palliative care focuses on the unique needs of each individual for daily life. It manages symptoms associated with illness or treatments in order to improve quality of life. RBOI’s physicians and nurses have many years of experience working in an oncology setting. They are especially tuned in to people living with cancer and the challenges associated with compromised health and independence.
Radiation not only treats cancer directly, it is also used in palliative care. For example, palliative care can focus on managing pain so an individual can sleep at night. Radiation can reduce the size of tumors that press on nerves and create pain. Radiation can also be used in palliative care to help a lung cancer patient breathe more easily, so more time can be spent outside the home with a loved one.
Palliative care focuses on improving quality of life, not just treating disease. Patient, family, and caregivers are at the center of palliative care. Each person has unique needs and priorities for improving quality of life. Those needs and priorities direct your medical team.
We’re still fighting cancer. Receiving palliative care for chronic cancer still means we can aggressively fight that cancer. RBOI can provide this service alongside traditional curative treatments.
There is always something we can do. Sometimes people think they are forgotten when a doctor says there is nothing more that they can do. Palliative care means there is always something we can do. We can provide comfort, compassion, symptom management, and medical care to make the amount of life you have left as positive as possible
- Our radiation specialists treat physical pain, including pain from tumors.
- Our social workers treat psychological pain experienced by patients, families, and caregivers.
- Our cancer navigators can connect you with treatment and assistance to help meet your physical, psychological, and financial needs.
No matter where you are being treated, we are here to help and available on-site. RBOI also understands that finances are a huge and stressful burden on people living with chronic cancer. We have never turned anyone away due to financial limitations.
Please call us for help. We do not use phone trees. Our staff will answer the phone.