Cancer is a big and powerful word. It brings up so many different emotions for those affected by it, including painful loss, fighting with courage, and even miraculous triumphs. Unfortunately, many people in the United States are diagnosed with cancer each year. To be exact, there were about 1,806,590 new cases of cancer in the U.S. alone in 2020. So, if you’re one of these brave fighters facing surgery and chemotherapy, a family member of a cancer patient, or someone compelled to help in any way possible, then this article is for you. When you’re ready to get involved with any type of cancer care in some way or another, then take a few minutes to read up on these three ways that you can be prepared for these diagnoses and get involved in cancer care.
1. Work in careers that deal with patients firsthand.
One way to get involved in cancer care is to get connected with a career where you will encounter cancer patients. Obviously, choosing to be involved in a career path with patients is a dedicated practice that can be difficult to encounter every day. If you are, however, compelled to work with cancer patients, then the oncology unit might be one of the clearest places to start. There are a few ways in which one can work in the oncology unit at a hospital. If you would enjoy being a nurse, then this is one of the most practical nursing career opportunities because you’ll be working with patients facing lung cancer, breast cancer, melanoma, neck cancer, and many other different types of cancer firsthand.
In order to do this, though, you will have to become certified to be a nurse. Once you complete your practical nursing program, you can begin applying to hospitals or private practices as an LPN, or a licensed practical nurse. With this certification and passing of your registered nurse exam, the NCLEX, you can work in mainstream health care assisting patients of all ages that are dealing with various illnesses. You could work in the oncology unit with a variety of different types of cancer patients, the emergency room with critical care patients, or the cardiology unit dealing with patients who need cardiovascular care. Regardless of your work desires, you can become an integral part of a cancer patient’s journey if you’re a nurse who is by their side.
2. Understand more about cancer.
Another idea that is smart to consider if you’re trying to completely grasp the reach that cancer has on many is to understand all of the different types of cancer and how they affect others. There is breast cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer, lymphoma, colon cancer, liver cancer, neck cancer, and so many other different types of cancer. Essentially, cancerous tumors can grow in any part of the body leaving patients vulnerable to its unfortunate risks. With all of this being said, all of these cancer types can have varying prognosis results than others, leaving families fumbling with paying off medical bills for costly cancer treatment like chemotherapy and radiation.
For these reasons, it’s important to remember the importance of having quality health insurance that gives them the health coverage they require. Plus, depending on the higher risk of the cancer type, monthly insurance payments can run a really high rate for these patients. To make sure you, your loved one, or the patients you’re invested in is getting the best health care coverage, you should compare rates and coverage offered by insurance companies. This way, you can rest easy knowing that you’re choosing the smartest choice available in the health insurance marketplace.
3. Lend a helping hand.
While all of these previous ideas are a bit more practically based, there’s one way to get involved with those who are struggling with cancer. That way is simple, and it doesn’t require a degree or much knowledge on the subject. This final way to get involved with cancer patients or their families is to engage in some sort of support group, spend time in care facilities, or volunteer your time with patients in long-term care.
Let’s face it, this illness is tough. It can be so challenging to face getting treatment every day. With this being said, no one deserves to go through a cancer diagnosis alone. If someone you love is diagnosed, then it’s worth your while to spend time with them and bring light into their world through simple interventions. Bring them out to lunch, stop by and play their favorite games, laugh together, and let them vent, too. Even if you don’t have a family member or friend who has cancer, you can still find ways to interact with patients who would adore your care. Consider getting in contact with local hospitals or care facilities to see if there’s a way you can engage with these patients. For example, you could run a toy drive for pediatric cancer patients, use your talent to visit patients and sing with those who need some joy, or host a game night if they’re in long-term care. No matter what your talent, it’s incredible to use it to help others cope during this time.