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Charting Your Course
If you are facing cancer take Charting Your Course, an online tutorial on major issues you will face.


In the United States cancer is the second leading cause of death, exceeded only by heart disease. One out of every four deaths in the U.S. is from cancer. About 1.2 million new cancer cases are diagnosed in the U.S. annually and about 564,000 Americans will die of it each year -- more than 1,500 people per day. Internationally, cancer is the leading cause of death among children and teens in the industrialized countries.

Fortunately, there are extensive resources to help persons affected by the wide variety of conditions which are included in this broad general category of cancer. The treatment of cancer in young people is a medical specialty called pediatric oncology. Additional resources may be found in general health directories.

Cancer treatment can be very effective in many cases. It's important to have a qualified cancer specialist, called an oncologist, directing the care.

The Cancer Chemotherapy Handbook
[cover] Called the "Bible of Chemotherapy" by some, this new edition is a concisely written guide to the more than 85 specific drugs currently used in cancer treatment.

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Because our site specializes in support for people who are dying, we draw your attention to the following issues. Having cancer is not a death sentence by any means, but for those cancers which cannot be controlled, planning terminal care is of great importance.

Achieving death with dignity involves taking control of one's health care at the end of life; tools include use of advance directives and power of attorney for health care. Many people with terminal illness choose home or hospice care as an alternative to ending their days in a hospital setting. Palliative care and pain management are medical specialties concerned with providing comfort during chronic and terminal illness. You may also wish to review resources for grief and bereavement.

The "right to die" is the subject of controversial legal battles on an international scale. The decision to end one's life when death is approaching anyway is sometimes called self-deliverance or voluntary euthanasia. This is a special case of the more general topic of suicide.