Cancer is not a single disease: The term describes many diseases in which cells begin to multiply and grow out of control. If you’ve watched a loved one battle cancer — or perhaps you’ve dealt with it yourself — the lack of control you feel at diagnosis can be heartbreaking and scary. Fortunately, there are many ways, including the seven listed below, in which people without medical or science degrees can assist in the fight for a cure for cancer.
- Become a Nurse and Work on the Front Lines
Young people searching for careers to fight cancer may consider becoming nurses, radiologists, or certified nurse assistants. You don’t need a medical degree or a research background to help those with cancer. Often, the first people a cancer patient sees and becomes comfortable with are the nurses who administer medication and educate the patient about his or her treatment plan.
- Volunteer to Help Cancer Patients
If you already have a career, volunteer for a few hours every week at your local hospital, nursing home, or treatment center. Some patients may need help communicating their wishes to their doctor, while others just need someone to talk to about their diagnosis.
- Spread Knowledge About Alternative Cancer Treatments
Alternative cancer treatments may include acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine for inflammation, massage therapy to help with chronic pain, and meditation and yoga to assist with the emotional changes that come with the stress of a negative diagnosis. Consider specialized natural skin products to tackle external manifestations of cancer such as dryness and rashes.
- Offer to Be Part of a Clinical Trial
If you have cancer, consider participating in a clinical trial to assist researchers in finding a cure. According to the Cancer Research Institute, only 3–6% of patients who qualify for trials participate in them. Consider using a site like CenterWatch to locate and determine your eligibility for clinical trials.
- Found a Nonprofit
Often, those with cancer cannot fight for themselves. Some are severely ill, immunocompromised, and unable to leave home. If you have free time and enjoy managing projects, consider starting a nonprofit that raises awareness and takes donations for cancer patients. Before registering as a nonprofit corporation, research the requirements involved.
- Provide Practical Help
Sometimes assisting in finding a cure can be as simple as driving a cancer patient to his or her appointment. You may offer a friend a ride to a clinical trial, or you might keep track of your elderly aunt’s medications to ensure she does not miss a dose.
- Educate Yourself About Cancer
People living with cancer might struggle with the disease and face frequent misunderstandings when it comes to the illness itself, common treatments such as chemotherapy and what they do to a person’s body, and uncomfortable questions about survival rates. If you wish to be part of the cure, do your best to educate yourself about the many types of cancerous diseases and how they may affect a person’s physical abilities, mood, and overall quality of life.
Cancer can quickly derail a person’s health, but with the right support, a patient can remain emotionally stable throughout the treatment process. You can help cure cancer without a medical degree by participating in nursing, volunteering, and opting to be part of a clinical trial.
The Partnership for Gynecological Cancer Support is committed to raising awareness and providing assistance to women being treated for gynecological cancer in northeast Georgia. Make a difference today.