Cancer has a reputation as a deadly disease. While this certainly applies to certain particular types, the truths behind the historical connotations of cancer are increasingly overturned by advances in medical care. Some types of cancer have a prognosis that is substantially better than nonmalignant diseases such as heart failure and stroke.
Progressive and disseminated malignant disease has a substantial impact on a cancer patient's quality of life, and many cancer treatments (such as chemotherapy) may have severe side-effects. In the advanced stages of cancer, many patients need extensive care, affecting family members and friends. Palliative care solutions may include permanent or "respite" hospice nursing.
Many local organizations offer a variety of practical and support services to people with cancer. Support can take the form of support groups, counseling, advice, financial assistance, transportation to and from treatment, films or information about cancer. Neighborhood organizations, local health care providers, or area hospitals may have resources or services available.
Counseling can provide emotional support to cancer patients and help them better understand their illness. Different types of counseling include individual, group, family, peer counseling, bereavement, patient-to-patient, and sexuality.
Many governmental and charitable organizations have been established to help patients cope with cancer. These organizations are often involved in cancer prevention, cancer treatment, and cancer research.