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Coping with nasopharyngeal cancer

Men and women discussing nasopharyngeal cancer

This page contains information about coping with nasopharyngeal cancer. You can find the following

 

A quick guide to what's on this page

Coping with nasopharyngeal cancer

It can be very difficult coping with a diagnosis of cancer, both practically and emotionally. At first, you are likely to feel very upset, frightened and confused.

How the cancer might affect you physically

If your cancer has not been diagnosed in its early stages it may have already spread to nearby structures of the head and neck. This means you may have

  • Changes in the way you look
  • Changes in how you can eat
  • Changes in your hearing
  • Changes in your sight

All these can be very difficult to cope with and affect the way you feel about yourself.

Managing practically

As well as coping with the fear and anxiety that a diagnosis of cancer brings, you have to work out how to manage practically. There may be money matters to sort out. Who do you tell that you have cancer? There may be children to think about.

It may take some time to deal with each issue. Do ask for help if you need it. Your doctor or specialist nurse can put you in touch with people specially trained in supporting those with cancer. The coping with cancer section contains lots of information you may find helpful. There are sections on your feelings, talking to people about cancer, how to help yourself and who else can help you, sex and sexuality, and financial matters.
 

CR PDF Icon You can view and print the quick guides for all the pages in the living with nasopharyngeal cancer section.

 

 

Coping with your diagnosis

It can be very difficult coping with a diagnosis of cancer, both practically and emotionally. At first, you are likely to feel very upset, frightened and confused. Or that things are out of your control. It is very important to get the right information about the type of cancer you have and how it is best treated. People who are well informed about their illness and treatment are more able to make decisions and cope with what happens.

 

How nasopharyngeal cancer can affect you physically

Your nasopharyngeal cancer may have already spread to nearby structures of the head and neck, such as

This means that you may have

The links above take you to information that may help you to cope with these changes. 

All these changes can be very difficult to cope with and affect the way you feel about yourself. Such changes can affect your self esteem and the way you relate to others, especially those very close to you. If you are having a sexual relationship, one or all of these changes may affect your sex life. We have information about changes in your sex life in this section.

Another problem you may have to cope with is feeling very tired and lethargic a lot of the time. This is common in a lot of people who have cancer in the head and neck area, especially if the cancer is advanced. We have a whole section on fatigue and cancer and treating cancer fatigue.

 

Managing practically

As well as coping with the fear and anxiety that a diagnosis of cancer brings, you have to work out how to manage practically. There may be money matters to sort out. Who do you tell that you have cancer? And how do you find the words? You may also have children to think about.

Just try to remember that you do not have to sort everything out at once. It may take some time to deal with each issue. Do ask for help if you need it though. Your doctor or specialist nurse will know who you can contact to get some help. They can put you in touch with people specially trained in supporting those with cancer. These people are there to help and want you to feel that you have lots of support. So do use them if you feel you need to.

 

More information on coping with cancer

Our coping with cancer section contains lots of information you may find helpful. There are sections about

If you would like more information about coping with nasopharyngeal cancer, contact our cancer information nurses. They would be happy to help. Or you can contact one of the nasopharyngeal cancer organisations. They often have free factsheets and booklets they can send to you. They may also be able to put you in touch with a support group. There is also a nasopharyngeal cancer reading list.

We have details of counselling organisations, that can tell you about counselling and help you find sources of emotional support in your area.

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Updated: 23 August 2014