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Who This Guide Is For and Why It Was Developed

This guide was created for adults in Massachusetts who have survived any type of cancer.

What is Wellness?

Before, during, and after your cancer treatment there may be many things you feel you have no control over. This guide was written to cover areas that you do have some control over. No matter what type of cancer you were diagnosed with, the information in this guide may help you improve the quality of your life through wellness.

You may see the term “wellness” and think of it as an exercise program or a new diet. It is more than that. The different parts of wellness covered in this guide include:

  • Physical – What you can do to care for your body to help make you stronger for your treatment and beyond.
  • Emotional – How to cope with feelings you have throughout your cancer journey, and how to nurture relationships with family and friends.
  • Social – How to help your community and help yourself by helping others.
  • Spiritual – How to honor your values, beliefs and the meaning of your life.
  • Thinking (cognitive) – How to keep your mind active, and manage the effects of treatments like chemotherapy, by following your creative and learning interests.
  • Working – How to cope with work concerns as a cancer survivor and what your employment rights are in Massachusetts.

The 6 Dimensions of Wellness

Based on a model from the National Wellness Institute: www.nationalwellness.org

How to Get the Most Out of This Guide

Online videos included as part of the guide allow you to watch cancer survivors tell their own stories. You can also learn helpful information from experts who work with cancer survivors.

Expert Voice

Acknowledgements

The Massachusetts Comprehensive Cancer Prevention and Control Network’s Survivorship Workgroup, and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, wish to thank the many local cancer survivors and experts who offered their stories, time and expertise so generously. The development of this wellness guide would not have been possible without their help.

We also want to thank the many national and local cancer awareness, education and advocacy organizations that served as sources for much of the evidence-based information in this guide.

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