WHAT IS CANCER?
Cancer is the name given to a collection of related diseases. In all types of cancer, some of the body’s cells begin to divide without stopping and spread into surrounding tissues.
When cancer develops, cells become more and more abnormal, old or damaged cells survive when they should die, and new cells form when they are not needed. These extra cells can divide without stopping and may form growths called tumours.
HOW DOES CANCER IMPACT YOUR MIND?
When you find out you have cancer, a wide range of emotions impact you. You might feel afraid, angry, sad or have some other difficult-to- name emotion. It’s normal to struggle, but if these emotions go unchecked, they can spiral into depression, anxiety or even post-traumatic stress disorder.
HOW TO STOP CANCER FROM AFFECTING PSYCHOLOGICALLY
Be aware of signs of deeper problems and know what to expect during treatment. These can help you take control of your mental health. And that, in turn, can have a positive effect on your cancer treatment.
If you think you have a mental health problem related to having cancer — or its treatment — there are professionally trained people who can help. Talk to your doctor and ask him or her to refer you to a psychiatrist or therapist. It’s important to ask for a mental health professional who specializes in working with cancer patients.
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF IMPACT ON THE MIND?
When you have cancer, watch for these symptoms:
- Persistent feelings of sadness, emptiness or hopelessness
- Loss of interest and enjoyment in usual activities
- Reduced self-esteem and confidence
- Feelings of guilt and unworthiness
- Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
- Thoughts of suicide
- Difficulty concentrating or your mind going blank
- Muscle tension
- Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, or restless, unsatisfying sleep
You may also experience panic attacks, with increased heart rate, racing thoughts, hyperventilation, dizziness or wooziness, sweating and feelings of impending doom.
IS POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER ALSO AN IMPACT OF CANCER?
You can develop PTSD after any kind of trauma, including medical trauma. PTSD can cause you to have intrusive thoughts or memories of the traumatic event — the thoughts pop up out of nowhere whether you want to think about them or not. You might have nightmares about the event or flashbacks — feeling that you’re re-experiencing the event. You also might have difficulty falling or staying asleep.
As a result, you might avoid thoughts, feelings, people or situations connected to the event or have memory problems related to it.
Watch for these other symptoms:
- Being stuck in severe emotions related to the trauma (e.g., horror, shame, sadness)
- Severely reduced interest in pre-trauma activities
- Feeling detached, isolated or disconnected from other people
- Difficulty concentrating
- Irritability, increased temper or anger
- Hypervigilance — feeling like you’re always on guard
KIMS, one of the best cancer treatment hospital in Hyderabad, has also one of the best cancer support centres in Hyderabad where patients - who have suffered cancer, who have cancer treatment going on and who have just been diagnosed with cancer - are given advice on how to cope with the disease and live their life to the fullest despite being a cancer patient. With the best oncology specialist hospitals in Hyderabad and psychiatrists, we offer the best care for cancer and depression as well as post cancer depression.