1. Share Your Experience
You are an expert in your own life, so don’t be afraid to be vocal with your care team about your experience, including issues around your mental health. The Putting Patients First symptom reporting form is a screening tool that allows patients to share their symptoms, including worries and fears, with their clinical team. It is used at all cancer care delivery sites under CancerControl Alberta. The tool offers an opportunity for patients to feel like their concerns, beyond physical symptoms, are a valid part of their cancer journey.
2. Find Support
CancerControl Alberta offers a variety of support services for patients living with cancer, as well as their families. Support services include psychosocial support, such as one-on-one counselling and pastoral care, as well as financial assistance and patient orientation services.
3. Get Organized
Clinical visits can often involve a lot of overwhelming information. To help you stay organized and informed, the My Care Conversations app allows you to take notes and record your consultations with your health-care providers for future reference. Developed by CancerControl Alberta and Alberta Health Services, and made possible thanks to the generosity of Alberta Cancer Foundation donors, the app can be downloaded from iTunes and Google Play.
4. Eat Well
Eating well-balanced meals regularly can help you maintain your body weight in order to remain energized and strong during treatment. Good nutrition also plays an important role in healing and recovery when treatment is complete. Evidence suggests that cancer patients who maintain a healthy weight during treatment often have a better prognosis. Learn more about diet here.
5. Stay Active
Fatigue is a common side-effect of cancer treatment, but if you can commit to regular exercise, those feelings of fatigue can decrease. Studies show that cancer patients who continue to exercise throughout their cancer journey recover sooner and more easily. Get started with the Alberta Cancer Exercise program (ACE). It’s a free, 12-week exercise program for cancer patients at different stages of their cancer journey. Learn more about ACE, as well as the type of exercise that may be right for you here.