Despite all those advances, being diagnosed as cancer and fighting against this condition is associated with physical and psychosocial problems for many subjects due to old negative biases. Treatment process may vary for subjects with cancer depending on the cancerous lesions located at different organs and tissues. However, it is principally comprised of surgical treatment, chemotherapy (drug) and radiotherapy. The aim of the treatment is to remove cancerous cells. Treatment period may prolong since drugs and other methods may influence other body cells although success rate of available treatments gradually increases. Patients may suffer physical problems such as fatigue, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite and hair loss, which originate from drugs. In addition to the above mentioned problems, they may also contend with negative attitudes against the condition, changes in familial relations, job loss and long hospitalization period as well as social, emotional and financial problems arising from treatment costs.
It is nice to share…
Nobody would ascribe cancer, which is horrible even to hear and represents the bad medical condition addressed by movies, to her/him or the loved ones. When you are unexpectedly caught by this condition, your emotions will be possibly the combination of mild astonishment, mild anger, plenty of fear and the desperation. Hopelessness is the sister of the desperation; the hopelessness is your most serious enemy in your fight against the cancer.
Astonishment will not take long. Your anger will regress when you accept the condition and you will feel less fear when you start to learn about it. However, fighting against cancer is a long journey and getting desperate, isolating yourself and being distant to the loved ones and hobbies which hold you on to the life, will make it more challenging. It is therefore nice to share.
It is mostly easy to share with your close friends/loved ones. Studies determined that the patient gets the most significant support from the family and friends when such condition is diagnosed. The most remarkable and easiest support will be surely provided by people who know you best. However, people suffering a condition similar to your disease may be as close to you as your family. Sometimes, people fighting against the same problem would make achievements such that they not only find solutions for their own problems, but they also pave the way to the hope.
United we stand united we are hopeful…
There are many Turkish associations and foundations which provide cancer patients with material and emotional support. Such associations and foundations are established by people who do believe the strength of the solidarity and sharing. The patients with cancer may apply to those institutions where they can meet other people who suffered same condition, but found a solution, and thus, their belief to the presence of a solution will be reinforced.
Some of associations and foundations playing pioneering role in fight against cancer; in Turkey
TKSV (Turkish Foundation of Fighting Against Cancer)
Being founded in 1977, the foundation works or make third parties work for preventing any and all types of cancers, increasing awareness on early diagnosis and treatment and motivating people on such issues and dealing with health problems and social problems arising from cancers. The foundation is still making efforts to achieve above written aims.
Further information: http://www.tksv.gen.tr
KOKDER (Association of Preliminary Coordination of Stem Cell Transplantations)
The foundation in 2008 was established by combination of physicians, patients, relatives and volunteers in order to provide all leukemia and cancer patients with medical, legal, psychological and social support, and psychological and social support is provided in order to aid patients to maintain daily life, prevent troubles of social functionality due to the disease and overcome all possible changes in various fields of life depending on the treatment process and the disease. Moreover, the association offers free-of-charge consultancy service in order to increase awareness of available rights for overcoming legal and social problems which the patients encounter during treatment period.
Further information: http://www.kokder.org
The Foundation for Reinforcing Hope Against Cancer
The foundation was established to provide leukemia patients, who have no social security plan, with treatment opportunities and other social aids, make cancer screening at particular regions and direct patients depending on the diagnosis and to inform the society on the cancer via seminars and training; the foundation continues to offer services.
Further information: http://www.kansereumutvakfi.org
HOEV (Hacettepe Foundation of Oncology Institute)
The foundation was established in 1997 in order to provide the institute with support for cancer control activities and it aimed to support cancer researches and training in collaboration with other cancer organizations and help the cancer patients and their families. One of the primary activities of the foundation is the “Hope House” which was constructed to enable cancer patients and relatives accommodate during active treatment period. Hacettepe Hope House offers services only to cancer patients and relatives since the house is specific to cancer patients. This specific character of the Hope House also creates a social environment where the patients and relatives accommodating at this facility share their experiences with each other whenever they need. This sharing process is associated with many useful and different gains enabling patients to accept the disease and overcome emotional problems secondary to the disease.
Further information: http://www.hoev.org.tr
May we rely on our social security benefits?
Fighting against the cancer is not only associated with physical and psychosocial challenges in addition to economical challenges which may sometimes occur. Challenges in continuing job due to treatment period, hospitalization and medication costs and legal problems experienced with the employer due to absenteeism makes the process harder, which is anyway challenging. At this point, it is very important for patient being aware of current rights and being informed about facilities offered to them.
Pursuant to the Article 105 of the Law on State Personnel Law (Code No. 657) titled “Sick Leave”, “should necessity is indicated on medical reports and wage and personal rights are not influenced, state personnel is granted a leave period up to six months if service life is up to ten years (including tenth year), up to twelve months if service life is above ten years if any disease may develop and the personnel suffering a treatment such as cancer, tuberculosis and mental disorders which requires long-term therapy shall be granted leave period up to eighteen months. The duration of hospitalization at inpatient healthcare facilities shall be taken into consideration when allowed leave period is calculated.
If it is noted by the official healthcare facilities that the disease persists at the end of the leave period, it can be extended for similar period. If the disease also persists at the end of the extension period, provisions of retirement are applied. For subjects who are found to fulfill necessary healthy status based on a medical report issued by official healthcare facilities, they will be assigned to duties compatible with pre-treatment titles and qualifications if they desire to be assigned.
Pursuant to the labor law, patients may be similarly granted sick leave based on a medical report; however, the labor law has different provisions on leave period, cancellation of labor contract and validity of wages during leave period arising from medical record in comparison with state personnel law. Further information can be obtained at this address: http://mevzuat.basbakanlik.gov.tr/
Treatment of cancer (chemotherapy, radiotherapy and radio-isotope therapies) can be offered free-of-charge at all healthcare facilities of our country. You may supply all drugs used for the treatment from pharmacies by submitting the medical report issued by a medical committee and signed by the primary physician, should you pay the current patient’s share. Drugs not marketed in Turkey can be supplied from foreign countries via Turkish Union of Pharmacists. Social Security Institute has special price regulations for such drugs. Further information can be obtained at this address: http://www.mevzuat.gov.tr
You are not alone…
You may consult to and take help from your physician, the nurse team dealing with your treatment and care for any and all questions about your diagnosis and treatment process and you may consult to the psychologist and social service expert of the hospital for psychosocial issues. Sometimes, the problems which are serious in our opinion may have easy solutions. We are here to help you finding those solutions; you are not alone…