By Jeyashree Sundaram (MBA)
Angiosarcoma is a rare and aggressive disease. It is a tumor of the interior lining of the blood vessels and may occur in any part of the body. Normally, it can be found in the head and neck region, as well as in vital organs such as liver, spleen, breast, bone, and skin. Of the sarcomas listed in the surgical database Angiosarcoma constitutes about 1-2%. The disease stages decide on the relapse.
Angiosarcoma occurs in all races of people, but it is very rare in children. There are different support groups available to provide valuable help and information to the people who are affected by angiosarcoma. Also their family members or neighborhood can help a lot.
Family relations: Generally, angiosarcoma patients feel lonely. Members of the family are the main support for such patients. So, they need to help the patients feel comfortable by encouraging them, changing their thinking, staying with them for a longer time, providing valuable advice for their future, and creating a supportive environment with calm.
Caregivers: A nurse, physician, or social worker is considered to be a caregiver. They should provide support to the patient by way of talking while diagnosing or treating them. They would be able to clear all the doubts that the patient may have and always stay in touch with them.
Often giving counseling to the patients helps them to identify a safe confidential area to speak about their concerns. The caregivers should be ready with practical tips for providing care.
Friends: Support from friends provides better and positive physical changes in patients of all age groups, which helps to improve their confidence level, and they feel more comfortable and relaxed. The compassionate team member has to provide compression garments to the patient, which helps them to stay in stand for a longer time. They (women who have undergone surgical removal of breasts) are also given breast prostheses.
Most of the cancer patients experience hair loss, so friends may take the responsibility to provide them with a wig, or other artificial head coverings. It might also be nice of them to provide advice regarding skin care and make-up, which helps to reduce their worries.
Online support: Mailing and messaging are some of the other ways of supporting the patient, without expecting a reply; in addition social media, websites, or blogs also provide help to the patients. Patients’ friends should frequently send messages like “I will always care for u” and “I am praying for you.” Asking questions such as;
- How is your treatment going?
- How do you feel today?
- Have you taken food at the correct time?
Social Workers’ Groups: Here, the social workers provide the emotional support to patients. They help patients overcome their anxiety following their being diagnosed with tumor; they also provide some suggestions to face the new concerns. They offer assistance in getting required resources.
Support Groups: The adult support groups provide opportunity to patients to meet and share their thoughts and provide moral support. The experienced compassionate team members make the process of guiding patient discussion easier.
Financial Assistance: There are different services available to support the cancer patients and their families financially. They can help with the payment of bills and also provision of resources for patients in essential status.
Nutrition Services: Several cancer nutrition services are acquirable; they provide a scheduled diet plan depending on the stage of the cancer, and the diet plan has the power to deal with the side effects that arise from the treatment. The service providers also answer patients’ questions regarding recent findings in the field of cancer and also about the nutrition.
Resource Centers: Resource centers provide books, videos, brochures, Internet facilities, and CDs; satellite resource centers are staffed by professionals to aid patients to get more information regarding angiosarcoma.
Awareness Programs: Young adults affected by cancer face a different challenging situation to patients who had undergone diagnosis before, i.e., during childhood or afterward in adulthood. This program may aid patients to identify the expertise and resources for supporting cancer experience.
Entertainment Programs: An expressive arts program for integrative treatment given to the family members, caregivers, and adult patients is a different kind of option to help them during the treatment of cancer. This program provides a range of inventive outlets, from music and meditation to workshop on painting techniques, to match every interest.
Fitness Classes: Fitness classes are conducted by instructors, which help patients before and after treatment to improve their mood, increase their body strength, and reduce fatigue.
Information such as the side treatments arising from treatment and research happenings are offered by online support groups. Angiosarcoma patients can exchange communication with similar patients through Angiosarcoma Facebook Group. Updates about initiatives and useful discussions are provided by Team Sarcoma Facebook Group.