Hesperian Health Guides
Health Workers Can Help People with Cancer
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Community health workers can learn about cancer prevention and treatment, and share that learning with others.
Help the person with cancer and the family:
- Help them feel they are not alone.
- Introduce them to other people who have had similar experiences.
- Support them to find healthy food, transportation, and help managing their home and children, maybe by involving community groups, churches, or government services.
- Keep a list of clinics, doctors, and organizations that help people with cancer in your region or country.
- Help the person with cancer manage her pain, discomfort, and fears.
- Help people with cancer and their families avoid those who would take their money and promise miracle cures that don’t work or make people worse.
Work toward cancer awareness and prevention:
- Encourage people to learn the early signs of cancer and not to be afraid of getting tested or treated because doing so early is so important.
- Give classes to help people stop smoking.
- Vaccinate people against hepatitis B and HPV.
- Screen women for cervical cancer and for other cancers if screening is offered by health authorities.
- Seek training for yourself or other health workers to treat some kinds of cancer. Midwives can learn how to diagnose and prevent cervical cancer.
- Help people organize to keep chemicals and other pollution out of community water, land, and air.
- Motivate the community to help and treat people with cancer kindly, and not to blame them for their illness.