Throughout your cancer treatment, you may need additional care. Rest assured that Virginia Mason Franciscan Health Cancer Care offers a comprehensive program to support your journey.
Our outpatient services include:
In addition, an oncology social worker can help connect you with any other resources you may need.
Improve your quality of life during and after your cancer treatment with rehabilitation. Learn about services that can help you manage fatigue, maximize your strength and overcome treatment side effects.
Services include physical medicine, physical therapy, occupational therapy, rehabilitation psychology, speech therapy and vocational rehabilitation. Common problems treated by the cancer rehabilitation team include:
As a cancer survivor it is really important to maintain healthy lifestyle in order to improve quality of life, reduce disease and treatment side-effects, and decrease risk for reoccurrence of cancer.
Eat a generally healthy, predominantly whole food diet, high in vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes and low in saturated fats is recommended.
Limit alcohol intake. For women, recommendations are to limit intake of alcoholic beverages to less than seven units per week (or one drink per day).
Engage in regular physical activity, and return to regular activities as soon as possible after treatment is complete. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise per week (including strength training at least two days per week if you were treated with chemotherapy or hormone therapy). If you have physical limitations that keep you from being active, please discuss this with your primary care provider.
Maintain a healthy weight. Lifestyle changes to promote weight loss are recommended if you are overweight.
Avoiding smoking. Referral to resources to help you quit can be provided. Washington State also provides services to help you quit, please call 1-800-QUIT-NOW for more information.
Stay safe in the sun and use common sense sun precautions to avoid sunburns.
Preventing unnecessary illness is especially important now that you have completed treatment. Be sure to stay up to date with recommended immunizations, and get an annual flu shot.
If you have not yet thought about completing your Advanced Directives, now (when you're well) is a good time to do it (and to talk about your priorities for care with your health care advocates)!
Shawne Arceneaux, RN, BSN, NC-BC Founder, Coach, Consultant AlignWell Collective
AlignWell Collective was built with a deep intention of improving the overall well-being of oncology patients and health care professionals.
What is the main reason for intimacy and sexuality changes throughout the cancer journey?
What are some of the challenges for patients when it comes to sexuality and intimacy with a cancer diagnosis?
How can male patients manage some of the physical side effects of cancer treatment?
How can female patients manage some of the physical side effects of cancer treatment?
Can having sex make cancer worse?
Can chemotherapy drugs still be present in sexual fluids?
How can patients overcome the fatigue that comes with cancer treatment and still have a healthy sex life?
What can patients do if they are embarrassed about scars but still want to have sex?
How does the body image affect patients going through cancer treatment?
What are some strategies that patients can use to manage intimacy challenges?
What are some strategies that patients can use to cope with body image changes?
Serena McKenzie, ND, IF, NCMP - Sexual Medicine, Sex Counselor & Menopause Expert
Dr. McKenzie has been working in health care since 1995. She is an evidence-based, holistic primary care physician and expert in sexual medicine, focusing on menopause care and pelvic floor dysfunction. Her program for cancer patients, Thrive Onward, is designed to support people who are concerned with maintaining a healthy and thriving sexual life after a cancer diagnosis.
What are the most common cancers that cause sexual problems in your patients?
What are the most common dysfunction that women experience after cancer?
What are the most common dysfunctions that men experience after cancer?
What are the most useful treatments for sex problems for men and women?
Do you do behavioral therapy yourself?
What's the difference between sex therapy & sexual medicine? How do these improve sexual function?
Do most people utilize both sex therapy and sexual medicine in conjunction?
How can patients address sexual problems with so many things going on with a cancer diagnosis?
When couples experience sex problems as a result of cancer, how would you recommend they find help?
Can patients self-refer themselves to you?
Can you tell us more about hormone therapy?
Where should I go to get help if I'm having problems with sex after cancer?
What do I do if I'm too depressed or anxious about my cancer care to engage in intimacy?
What advice for caregivers seeing their role go from lover to caregiver as partner battles cancer?
What surgical options are available for sex problems if hormones or medications don't work?
What is the Thrive Onward program?
What types of sexual dysfunctions are common in cancer patients?
Talk with your nurse navigator or cancer care team about referrals for outpatient services that might benefit you.