Coping and supportBy Mayo Clinic staff
Living with the concern that your bladder cancer may recur can leave you feeling as if you have little control over your future. But while there's no way to ensure that your bladder cancer won't recur, you can take steps to manage the stress.
Over time you'll find what works for you, but until then, you might:
- Have a schedule of follow-up tests and go to each appointment. When you finish bladder cancer treatment, ask your doctor to create a personalized schedule of follow-up tests. Before each follow-up cystoscopy exam, expect to have some anxiety. You may fear that cancer has come back or worry about the uncomfortable exam. But don't let this stop you from going to your appointment. Instead, plan ways to cope with your concerns. Write your thoughts in a journal, talk with a friend or use relaxation techniques, such as meditation.
- Take care of yourself so that you're ready to fight cancer if it comes back. Take care of yourself by adjusting your diet to include plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Exercise for at least 30 minutes most days of the week. Get enough sleep so you wake feeling rested.
- Talk with other bladder cancer survivors. Connect with bladder cancer survivors who are experiencing the same fears you're feeling. Contact your local chapter of the American Cancer Society to ask about support groups in your area. Or contact CancerCare at 800-813-HOPE (800-813-4673) for information on telephone-based support groups. Online message boards, such as the American Cancer Society's Cancer Survivors Network and the Bladder Cancer WebCafe, are another option.
- What you need to know about bladder cancer. National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/wyntk/bladder. Accessed May 16, 2012.
- Bladder cancer treatment (PDQ). National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/bladder/healthprofessional. Accessed May 16, 2012.
- Abeloff MD, et al. Abeloff's Clinical Oncology. 4th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2008. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-4/0/1709/0.html. Accessed May 16, 2012.
- Bladder and other urothelial cancers screening (PDQ). National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/screening/bladder/healthprofessional. Accessed May 16, 2012.
- Bladder cancer. Fort Washington, Pa.: National Comprehensive Cancer Network. http://www.nccn.org/professionals/physician_gls/f_guidelines.asp. Accessed May 16, 2012
- Guideline for the management of nonmuscle invasive bladder cancer (stages Ta, T1 and Tis): 2007 update. Linthicum, Md.: American Urological Association. http://www.auanet.org/content/guidelines-and-quality-care/clinical-guidelines.cfm?sub=bc. Accessed May 16, 2012.
- Wein AJ, et al. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 10th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2012. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-6/0/1445/0.html. Accessed May 16, 2012.
- FDA drug safety communication: Updated drug labels for pioglitazone-containing medicines. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm266555.htm. Accessed June 4, 2012.
- Castle EP (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale/Phoenix, Ariz. June 2, 2012.