Monday, January 9, 2012

Deal With Cancer Discomforts by Stephen Lau

To be diagnosed with cancer is life changing. One has to undergo different treatments, which may include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. The road to recovery may be long, and even bumpy with many undesirable cancer side effets and cancer discomforts.

Cancer patients may have different experiences even with the same type of cancer. There are many cancer side effects and cancer discomforts, not to mention the cancer pain itself.

Breathing is one of the more common problems related to cancer discomforts. Many cancer patients may have difficulty breathing. Remember, rapid breathing is a normal response to illness and stress. Rapid breathing results in shallow breaths, which are deficient in oxygen and nutrients. The result is that you will have shallow breaths that go in and out of the mouth without supplying adequate oxygen to the lungs and other parts of the body. Incomplete or shallow breathing is the No. 1 enemy to optimum health and rejuvenation from the disease. Research has indicated that rodents with the shortest breaths also have the shortest lifespan in the animal kingdom. In addition, apnea, which is an absence of breathing, may occur to some cancer patients.

Difficulty breathing may be caused by a tumor in the lungs, or it may be an indication that cancer has spread from another site (known as metastatic tumor). In addition, difficulty breathing may be a result of the buildup of fluid around the heart and the lungs. Remember, the functions of the heart and lungs are very closely related.

Correct breathing is critical not only to recovery but also to avoiding health problems as a result of breathing difficulty. Learn to breathe with your diaphragms. Breathe out more slowly than you inhale. As you exhale, purse your lips as if you were blowing out a candle. Sleep with your head and chest elevated to optimize your breathing. Daily activities, such as walking, may enhance your circulation to promote better breathing. Do not remain in any one position too long. Drink more water to clear any lung secretion from mucous membranes. Drinking more water will also avoid constipation, which is a common side effect of most cancer treatments. Finally, keeping the air moist with a humidifier may also help you breathe better.

Chemotherapy may contribute to mouth or throat sore, affecting mouth hygiene. Use only toothbrush with soft bristles. In addition, you may want to further soften the bristles with hot water before and after use. If necessary, avoid flossing your teeth to prevent bleeding gums. It is recommended to use WaterPik to keep your mouth clean and fresh. Use mouthwash as often as needed to maintain your oral hygiene.

In addition, chemotherapy may affect the normal functioning of the esophagus, causing difficulty swallowing. If that happens, keep foods moist with liquids or sauces to facilitate swallowing. Always chew your food thoroughly before swallowing.

Loss of appetite is a common phenomenon in cancer patients; due to cancer pain and discomforts, they may lose any desire to eat. This can be a temporary or a chronic condition at various stages of the disease. Losing appetite is one of the most distressing aspects of cancer because it may affect long-term health, or lead to the development of eating disorders.

To overcome this problem, eat more frequently, as well as selecting your favorite foods. If you find it difficult to consume solid food, then use a blender to mix health foods into a soft milkshake-like pulp.

Overcoming these cancer side effects may help the cancer patient to recover and get back to normal life.

Copyright (c) 2010 Stephen Lau