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Managing your lifestyle

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Although your cancer is incurable it does not necessarily mean that your health will deteriorate quickly, although sometimes this does happen. You can live an active life with incurable cancer depending on your individual situation, such as the type of treatment you require to manage your cancer and any symptoms you may be having. This may mean you require support from health/social care or through making changes or adaptations that will enable you to lead as independent a life as possible.

There may be some adjustments to be made to your lifestyle. You may make these yourself or be guided by others in this. For example, you might find you get tired more easily, so it can help to break any planned activities down into small chunks in case you need a break. Planning more restful activities can be helpful, but let your body guide you as to what you can and cannot do. Over time it is likely that you will have increasing health issues (both physical and emotional) to manage, and you may need more treatment to help with controlling these issues. Your health care team will be able to help you choose the right treatment for you.

Remember to tell your health care team about any new symptoms so that they can help you manage them. They may refer you to physiotherapy and/or occupational therapy services. These specialists can recommend exercises, help with mobility aids, manage breathlessness and suggest adaptations within your home that might help you and your family.

Going to work

Some women facing incurable cancer are able to and wish to continue working. This is entirely up to you and your own situation. Working can be important because it provides stability, normality and an opportunity to think about other things in a safe environment.

Do talk to your employer about the type of support you require, this may change over time. Your employer may be able to tailor your working hours or the nature of your work according to your needs.

Let your body be your guide, if you feel things are not manageable make sure you seek support.


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Date last updated: 
20 Jul 2016
Date due for review: 
20 Jul 2019
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