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Jacqueline N. Rogers, LCPC
"You Have Cancer"
Talk To Me, Inc.
. https://www.talktomeenterprise.net/

"You Have Cancer"

Many patients describe their experience when they first received the diagnosis “you have cancer” as devastating. Some described feeling physical symptoms, (i.e., pain, nausea, anorexia and fatigue).

Some described feeling psychological distress (i.e., depression, anxiety, anger and fear of the disease and death). Depression and anxiety are the most common of these.

The patient's quality of life and age, psychological adjustment before and after the diagnosis and available support all affect the patient's response; also how advanced the cancer is, the time since diagnosis and type of treatment received all contribute to the patient's overall health.

A multidisciplinary treatment plan that focuses on the whole person could be helpful.

Traditionally, psychological interventions are seldom integrated in the early phases of the treatment plan. Therapy is often approached after the patient or family members experienced a crisis situation. Incorporating therapy earlier can help the patient and family view the diagnosis as normal and healthy rather than abnormal or pathological.

In 2018, an estimated 1,735,350 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in the United States and 609,640 people will die from the disease. In 2016, there were an estimated 15.5 million cancer survivors in the United States. The number of cancer survivors is expected to increase to 20.3 million by 2026.

Did you know that some psychological symptoms of depression overlap with physiological symptoms, such as fatigue, weight changes, insomnia, lack of energy and concentration, coupled with feelings of guilt?

A licensed therapist can provide guidance and a support system to the patient right from the start. The therapist can help the patient to create and experience a willingness to be open to possibilities, rather than focusing on negative thoughts and unhealthy patterns. Additionally, the therapist can help empower the patient to develop unique problem-solving techniques, as oppose to a limited pathway to resolution.

The goal is to get to a place of perseverance and reclaiming of self by managing side effects and balancing the needs and responsibilities as the patient copes with the personal challenges of cancer.

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