- Cancer Information
- Cancer treatment
- Recovery after surgery
- Taking care of yourself at home
Taking care of yourself at home
Looking after yourself at home is one of the most important parts of your recovery. Your progress will depend on the type of surgery you have, what support you have at home, your overall fitness and health, and whether you are having other cancer treatments.
When you first get home
Keep in mind that recovery will take time, and try not to expect too much of yourself. A community nurse may visit to check on you and change any dressings, or you might see your GP for similar care. Some aspects of your recovery that you will need to keep an eye on in the first few days and weeks are discussed in this section.
Although it’s a good idea to stay active and do gentle exercise while you are recovering, it’s also important to follow your doctor’s advice about restrictions, such as avoiding heavy lifting.
You may find that you tire easily and need to rest during the day. Get plenty of sleep and take breaks if you feel tired, and ask family or friends to assist you with household tasks, such as cooking and laundry. If you require home care services, speak to the social worker at your hospital or treatment centre, or call Cancer Council 13 11 20 to find out what is available in your area.
For more suggestions, see How to plan for recovery at home.
Prof Andrew Spillane, Surgical Oncologist, Melanoma Institute of Australia, and Professor of Surgical Oncology, The University of Sydney Northern Clinical School, NSW; Lynne Hendrick, Consumer; Judy Holland, Physiotherapist, Calvary Mater Newcastle, NSW; Kara Hutchinson, Cancer Nurse Coordinator, St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne, VIC; A/Prof Declan Murphy, Urologist and Director of Genitourinary Oncology, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VIC; Caitriona Nienaber, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council WA; Prof Stephan Schug, Director of Pain Medicine, Royal Perth Hospital, and Chair of Anaesthesiology and Pain Medicine, The University of Western Australia Medical School, WA; Dr Emma Secomb, Specialist Surgeon, Hinterland Surgical Centre, QLD. We would like to thank the health professionals, consumers and editorial teams who have worked on previous editions of this title.
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