Patients often behave similar after hearing they have cancer. Their first reaction is shock and denial. Although there are psychological changes to adapt to the disease over time, patients may sometimes need professional assistance.
Cancer is a widely seen disease. Moreover, its incidence is gradually increasing for various reasons. Despite being so widespread, cancer is a word that solely evokes negativities. Many people are disturbed even to hear sentences with this word. Obviously, patients generally react very negatively to the news that they have been diagnosed with cancer. While there may be imbalances in many items of daily life while being diagnosed with any disorder, to be diagnosed with cancer may dramatically affect a patient’s life psychologically, socially, economically, and in other ways, because people are faced with a very significant and serious risk. Cancer often brings huge changes to the patient’s daily life, such as losing economic power or losing a job. More importantly, there is a possibility of losing an organ, function of an organ or even the life.
Patients diagnosed with cancer may exhibit a wide range of reactions. The fact that cancer is generally associated with death and intense pain may cause psychological crises in individuals. It ends when the patients adapt themselves to the disease and finally, the threat of death.
During the crisis period, patients exhibit a common range of reactions. The most general reaction in the initial stage is the feeling of shock and denial. The reason behind the denial is essentially he need to defend feeling of anxiety and panic that patients feel in the face of reality they can’t bear, or which is difficult for them to face most of the time. They think they can escape the situation, which is thought to be terrible, by denying the truth. In the second phase, they show anger and depression. They usually get the feeling of anger and show their reactions with sentences beginning with “Why me…?”
If the person cannot his anger, there is a risk of depression. In this period, patients show such reactions as being anxious, loosing appetite, distractibility and restlessness.
Patients may suffer from psychological problems.
Negative thoughts coming to mind with the diagnosis of cancer and uncertainty in the treatment process may unsettle individuals’ existing adaptation mechanisms. A person diagnosed with cancer will have to review his/her future expectations and plans, and the person begins to feel a loss of power over his/her own life. As a result, the patient is likely to suffer from feeling such as fear, anxiety and despair.
All of these challenges, which occur when the cancer diagnosed, mat cause patients to be psychologically devastated and sometimes suffer from psychological disorders. Research indicates a 50% probability of psychological problems occurring along with cancer.
Depression and anxiety.
The most frequently seen psychological disorders in cancer patients are depression and anxiety. The most common concerns for cancer patients are: the risk of death, relying on the care of others, the idea that the appearance of their bodies will deteriorate, and the dear of suffering pain. Patients are very concerned on these issues, al of which may affect their lives. Because of this concern, many people have difficulty accepting the cancer diagnosis, and do not believe that they are cancer patients.
Assistance through professional support.
If a cancer patient feels unhappy all of the time, feels intensive averseness and no longer enjoys the same things he or she used to enjoy before, this is a situation that requires attention. Cancer patients who feel unhappy, anxious, pessimistic, hopeless, restless or angry for a long period must receive support from a psychologist or a psychiatrist. Otherwise, a general weariness of life in the patient’s psychology may adversely affect the treatment process. Cancer patients must avoid putting themselves in such a situation. Receiving psychological support whenever necessary prevents the patient from entering such a state of mind.
After cancer is diagnosed.
Patients diagnosed with cancer may show various negative emotions. These patients generally go through a crisis period. This crisis faced by cancer patients is defined as a 4-stage process:
Communication with patients treated with cancer and their relatives continues after treatment as well. Oncology nurses call patients or their relatives to receive information about their status. Patients or their relatives may reach their own doctor for 24 hours a day, which makes them feel safe and secure. This communication established on trust is continued together with patients and their relatives in the entire cancer fighting process.
Psychological support may improve a patient’s quality of life by easing their fears and anxieties, thus patients are better able to tackle their illness, and better protected from suffering a more violent psychological disorder in the future.
The mind and the body are in continuous communication. Positive psychology affirmatively affects the body. For instance, if you suffer a headache when you are unhappy, you feel this pain more intensely than when you are happy. Positive thinking supports our immune system. However, this situation should not be regarded as an absurd. The one should understand and be in the mood of “I should never feel bad; I should not think anything bad”. There may be times when anyone may feel down, with or without a reason. No one can be very happy, carefree, cheerful, energetic and so on all the time. A cancer patient is very likely to feel bad because of the features listed above. What is important is to show efforts to keep such bad times to a minimum.
Unless directed otherwise by their doctors, cancer patients must do their lives as they did before and even put new tings into their lives if possible. Such changes may be to see new p, gain a new hobby or meet new people.
All in all, cancer doesn’t have only negative affect people. While fighting this disorder, cancer patients learn to be stronger people, even if they are not aware of it. Cancer patients who are completely cured may enjoy a higher quality of life and live in a more enriched manner than before for the result of their lives.
What kind of psychological support and services are offered to patients in INNOVACIA Cancer Center?
In INNOVACIA Cancer Center, close communication is established with patients and their relatives during diagnosis, treatment and aftercare. At the beginning of the treatment, patients meet their doctor, case director nurse and chemotherapy nurses. When a patient asks for psychological support, he/she is directed to a specialist psychologist. Also, when the oncology nurses notice that the patients ant there are in need of support, they propose to them to receive psychological support.
Women often loose their self-confidence after a surgery on breast (especially mastectomy). Collaborating with the companies producing prophylactic postsurgical underwear, we help women streamline the aftercare process and get back to their full life. The consultant comes directly to the clinic, so the patient has the possibility to choose everything she needs in the comfort surrounding and saving the time.