Home Your medical guide Psychotherapy Can Help Cancer Patients Cope

Psychotherapy Can Help Cancer Patients Cope

written by Vidya Sury September 25, 2012

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Being diagnosed with cancer comes as a tremendous shock to most people. Cancer treatment can further intensify this stress, adding to worries about medical bills, insurance, the effects on your family, and your ultimate outcome. The treatment takes a physical toll – but cancer treatment rarely addresses the psychological effects that accompany this, leaving the mental aspect of fighting cancer and coping with treatment to the patient themselves.Psychotherapy can be quite beneficial to many cancer patients, even those suffering from breast, colon, mesothelioma or leukemia. Psychotherapists can offer many coping strategies for cancer patients – ways of coping that can improve your response to cancer treatment and improve your overall quality of life. Let’s explore a few ways of mentally coping with the effects of your cancer treatment.

Mind Over MatterScience has repeatedly demonstrated the close link between the mind and body. People with a positive mental attitude tend to have better outcomes than those who are overwhelmed by their disease. There will certainly be difficult moments during treatment, but you must keep in mind that getting your cancer into remission is not always a straight line. There will be peaks and valleys. And it is important to remind yourself that things will eventually get better — particularly when you are in a “valley.”Stay In The Present MomentThere is no point worrying about what may happen in the future. Anxiety often leads to depression. Many people have been in your shoes and had very good outcomes. Take life one day at a time. You can actually make your situation worse by overly worrying.

Research shows that negative mental attitudes can actually weaken your immune system – something that you definitely do not want to happen during cancer treatment. Your immune system may have already been weakened by your treatment, leaving you more vulnerable to opportunistic infections.

Staying in the moment also allows you to focus only on what is right in front of you. And that is the only thing you have any power over anyway. Stay strong and stay in the fight.

Stay Connected

It is very easy to feel sorry for yourself as you are going through this ordeal. Sometimes, it may feel as if you are going through it alone. If you look around, however, you will likely find that you have more support than you realize. Staying connected to your family and friends is often a tremendous source of strength for most cancer patients.

There are also social groups that bring together people who are suffering from cancer, allowing them to draw strength from each other. Many times, cancer patients find that only fellow cancer patients can truly understand what they are going through.

Psychotherapy Study

A study published in the medical journal Lancet found that women suffering from breast cancer lived 18 months longer after undergoing group therapy. The type of therapy was described as “intensive supportive-expressive group therapy.”

So, if people are finding success by talking out their fears and learning new coping mechanisms, why not give psychotherapy a try? Alleviate your mind today. Learn from the past. Plan for the future. Live in the present and fight back your cancer with positivity!

This is a guest post by Melanie Bowen

About Melanie Bowen:
She joined the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance in 2011 as an awareness advocate for natural health and cancer cure initiatives. You will often find her highlighting the great benefits of alternative nutritional, emotional, and physical treatments on those diagnosed with cancer or other serious illness. She also assists in social media outreach in her efforts to spread awareness.

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Lily June 2, 2013 at 1:51 pm

Thank you for sharing this very awesome post!

James Robinson September 10, 2013 at 3:50 pm

My friend who suffered from cancer underwent psychotherapy too. Now, she’s never felt better.

Arnold October 20, 2013 at 3:23 am

My grandmother had cancer not long ago and she became depressed for months. I think it’s hard for people to cope with cancer, I know I wouldn’t be too cool about it. However, it’s very important for one to stay positive as they fight cancer, as it’s all they can really do.

Bryan Andrews June 13, 2014 at 12:42 pm

Well, The answer to that depends on the type of cancer a person has, how early it was detected, how aggressive the cancer is, and whether it has spread to other parts of the body. Great post!


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