Learn about it to give support
To support someone who is treating cancer, the first step is to learn the most important information regarding the disease.
FACT or FAKE!
Pass the mouse, if you are using a computer, or click on the cards below, on your cell phone, to visualize the answer.
The immunity of those who go through treatment does not change
At least in most patients, immunity is preserved. And even those patients going through chemo, the decrease in immunity is specific and transitional. However, occasionally, infections may occur. In case of fever or other related symptoms, we always orient the patient to get in touch with the doctor.
You can’t remove your cuticles during the treatment
But it depends! Women who have had the total removal of underarm lymph nodes, have this restriction. This is because it can favor the entrance of bacteria and cause infection.
Can the cancer return?
Yes, but it is important to keep in mind that treatments are getting better and better. For this reason, even when the tumor returns in the breast or other parts of the body, we still expect the treatment result to be increasingly better.
Hair dying is not recommended during the treatment
Although… it is suggested to avoid ammonia or, at most, a concentration of up to 2%. In addition, if the patient has been using the cool cap technique and has been maintaining her hair, hair dying is not recommended.
Every breast cancer must be operated on as soon as it is found out
The pillar of the breast cancer treatment is surgery, but there are cases where the oncological treatment can be inverted, with the chemo coming first, and consequently going through surgery under better conditions.
A “positive” attitude is essential for the cure
It is natural to feel sad, angry and even hopeless, but the positive attitude can help you keep social and family connections, which are fundamental for you to remain active and emotionally able to endure tough times, besides mitigating the side effects of the treatment. During the sad moments, find someone who will understand you, without any judgment. And if you are the patient’s friend/family member, remember: you are very important in helping the patient to regain the mood during a difficult moment, but if you are too picky, it will not help at all. Sometimes comforting the patient gives her the strength to move forward!
Supporting the loved ones is precious. After all, the moment is of uncertainty and there’s huge effort to deal with the changes imposed by the treatment.
But it’s important to understand what support really is. There’s no use in giving too many opinions or pouring out positivity and resignation slogans. It’s better to talk less and to listen more.
Ask what kind of help is welcome and respect the person’s way of being and behaving.
Sadness, fear, anger and confusion are part of the process and must not be reprimanded. Bear in mind that demands only make things worse.
If you notice that the person is seriously shaken up, suggest that they seek professional help.
Solidarity helps, while pity gets in the way.
SOME GOOD TIPS
• Você é mais Forte do que o Câncer (You are Stronger Than Cancer)
• Paciente com câncer: um guia para quem acabou de receber o diagnóstico (Patient With Cancer: A Guide for Those Who Have Just Received the Diagnosis)
• A História dos Seios (The Story of Breasts)
• Cadê seu Peito, Mamãe? (Where is Your Breast, Mom?)
• Por uma Vida Inteira (For an Entire Life)
• Mastectomia: Mantendo a Qualidade de Vida Após o Câncer de Mama (Mastectomy: Keeping the Quality of Life After Breast Cancer)
• O que as Mulheres querem saber sobre o Câncer de Mama (What Women Want to Know About Breast Cancer)
• Ice Bound (2003)
• Decoding Annie Parker (2014)
• Cristina (2016)
• Lipstick: Why I Wore Lipstick to My Mastectomy (2006)
• Stepmom (1998)
• Sex and the City – Samantha Jones [Kim Cattrall] receives the breast cancer diagnosis in the last season of the series.
• Parenthood – Kristina Braverman [Monica Potter] finds out she has breast cancer right after she and her husband are dismissed from work, and after the highly-anticipated birth of their daughter.