There’s a Difficult Road Ahead
Facing a cancer journey, finding enough daily motivation to fight back against the disease can become a struggle. Often times, negative symptoms or side effects, new medication regimens, and lifestyle changes all factor into doing what they can to make everyday life difficult. It’s also easy to feel a constant stress or anxiety about this new normal, and the current outlook and unknown future of your health. While facing a chronic illness, your condition, mood, and overall wellbeing can feel like a constant wave of ups and downs.
Stress that comes with a cancer diagnosis, and the ensuing treatment, can be variable and the impact of anxiety or stress-related symptoms may greatly depend on personal experiences and how the individual is able to cope with treatment and overall condition. Everyone handles tough situations differently. However, there are some common stressors for people fighting cancer, these can include worries about medications and their associated side effects, financial difficulties of paying for the treatment, dealing with insurance and health coverage consequences, or dealing with the effects of cancer on relationships and the changing roles of family and friends.
As cancer patients and their caregivers know quite well, the everyday stress of dealing with the disease can bring many fears and make it tough to cope with something so daunting. However, after taking a recent in-app survey, 75% of chemoWave users report that they feel they are coping at least somewhat well or very well with the everyday stress of treatment.
Gaining More Control Over Their Health
One of the integral reasons that people going through cancer may feel a lack of motivation is due to feeling a “loss of control”. A sudden or life-altering diagnosis might seem overwhelming and lead to uncertainty, so much so that it becomes tough to navigate the journey and the reality of a new normal. Cancer patients often find it important to not only have control over their current health, but also the trajectory of their future health. When asked how much control those fighting cancer think they have over their future health, 22 percent of chemoWave users reported feeling like they have a “great deal of control”. Additionally, using chemWave as a tool to track symptoms, medications, and other health activities during cancer can help users feel more control over the ups and downs. Research shows after using the chemoWave app for a week, users are 50 percent more likely to say they feel they have a “great deal of control” over their future health.
What has helped thousands of chemoWave users is a new feature called “My Insights” giving an in-depth look into what is related to the ups and downs; the app has a backend analytics system which collects and synthesizes information on how the patient is feeling throughout their treatment journey. “My Insights” is a daily report that highlights and quantifies the top 5 aspects of a patient’s treatment experience that are tied when they feel better or worse. Using patient-driven data, the app helps people fighting cancer gain control over the side effects associated with receiving treatment by helping users generate their own health insights. These personal insights shows each unique user if their symptoms, mood swings or changes in their overall wellbeing are related and/or tied to specific activities like amount of steps, water intake or sleep, certain medications, weather changes and more.
Insights That Motivate Patients to Fight
“My Insights” allows users to segment data in two key ways: through personal insights and global insights. Personal insights allow individuals to highlight and track their behaviors, activities and experiences as it relates to their symptoms, condition, or overall mood; whereas the global insights feature allows individual users to compare their data to that of others that match their age or cancer type. These features can lend a feeling of empowerment and autonomy to the individuals experiencing the cancer diagnosis and undergoing treatment. The more insights, the more potential for control over their health while fighting cancer.
The free health app is also available in Spanish, German, and French for iPhone and Android users. According to the American Cancer Society, cancer is a leading cause of death among Latino populations in the United States. In particular, Latinos are most susceptible to cancers of the liver, stomach and cervix.
chemoWave is a free mobile app designed to empower cancer patients to take control of their health information and inform productive conversations with their physicians. chemoWave allows cancer patients to take control of their health by giving them the tools to track and share their treatment experiences digitally with care providers. Overall, using the app regularly can help alleviate the burden of communication by streamlining the process of communicating with your provider. Download the app today, or refer your loved ones who are dealing with a cancer diagnosis to try out the free app.
By Nicki Karimipour, Ph.D.