Cancer affects mental health

Cancer affects mental health

 Like other chronic degenerative diseases, cancer affects mental health tremendously.

Cancer affects mental health
psychological effects of cancer

Did you know that cancer affects your mental health? Cancer is one of the most common diseases in the world, with 18.1 million new diagnoses in 2018 alone. Furthermore, the number of patients is expected to continue to increase over the next few decades until 29.5 million new cases of cancer occur. diagnosis in 2040. In this article, let’s see how cancer affects the mental and physical health of the patient.

There are many causes of cancer. Examples include genetics, infections, exposure to radiation or chemical carcinogens. There are also many cases caused by lifestyle habits.

In fact, tobacco, alcohol, sedentary lifestyle, chronic stress, obesity, and insufficient nutrition are factors that directly or indirectly increase the risk of developing malignant tumours.

Like other diseases that occur over time and have high death rates, cancer affects mental health tremendously.

Patient response to cancer diagnosis

When people are diagnosed with cancer, they react in different ways. This may depend on the personality of the patient and what cancer means to you. According to a 1989 study by Dr Sterling Murray and Dr Stephen Greer, patients respond according to their own adaptation. The five main reactions are as follows

  1. .Fighting spirit. The patient shows an active attitude towards the disease, seeks information and participates in treatment.
  2. Negative. The patient does not comment on the disease and acts as if he has no problem.
  3. Resignation. Whether or not he has objective data to back up, he projects himself into the worst-case scenario that may arise.
  4. Despair. Patients have excessively negative thoughts that favour the clinical picture of depression.
  5. Anxiety. Patients find it difficult to cope with uncertain situations caused by the disease.

 how cancer affected my mental health

Changes in emotions in cancer patients

Just as a patient goes through the different stages of a physical illness, his thoughts, moods and emotions change.

Therefore, the situation where the patient responds to treatment and there is a way to cure the disease or the situation where the remission is partial is very different. The same is also true when the problem has reappeared, metastasized, or is in a terminal stage.

Therefore, the fitting method is determined according to the stage of cancer and the personality of the patient.

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Cancer affects mental health

Anxiety and depression are the most common psychological reactions in cancer patients.

depression

According to various studies, the prevalence of depression can vary from 4 to 58% depending on the study group and the stage of the patient. On average, it is around 40%, which is much higher than the general public.

Symptoms can be difficult to control due to the duration of the depression, and patients may refuse treatment more often.

Therefore, it is important that those around you are aware of the symptoms of depression. You should also contact a psychiatrist or someone who can provide mental assistance to the patient.

Cancer affects mental health and the body

unrest

Cancer causes many situations in which the patient feels extreme anxiety or even fear. For example, the most common reasons are:

  • Reactive anxiety at diagnosis
  • Difficulty handling uncertain situations
  • Recurrence of previous anxiety: phobia, panic attack, generalized anxiety disorder, or post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Fear of physical pain and pain.
  • A feeling of loss of control
  • Existential suffering
  • Increased anxiety caused by the medication itself.
  • Suffering from the pain of the home environment
  • Fear of treatment (side effects, surgery, physical and psychological effects)
  • Fear of death

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Mental help is important

Cancer survival rates have improved for several types in recent years. However, it remains a fatal disease for many patients.

Friends and family often pay more attention to test results and biopsies, forgetting that cancer affects their mental health. Furthermore, studies have shown that patients can feel very distressed.

Finally, it is imperative that family and friends learn how to provide mental support to the patient. Specific education can be obtained by consulting a psychotherapist or psycho-oncologist.