Asking for Help After a Cancer Diagnosis
- Many people who are diagnosed with esophageal cancer are afraid or do not feel comfortable asking for help when it comes to issues with mental health.
- There are many resources available for people living with cancer, from traditional therapy to support groups to integrative medicine.
- Having a solid doctor-patient relationship is also crucial.
- Patients should feel comfortable coming to their doctors with concerns, including if they are struggling mentally.
Esophageal cancer is more commonly diagnosed in men, who stereotypically have a more difficult time asking for help when they are struggling mentally.Read More
“There’s a lot more connected with this disease than just your body getting harmed”
Dr. Flores stressed the importance of having a good support system in place. Having close friends or family members there to rally for you when you feel the lowest can make a huge difference in how a patient handles treatment.
He also stressed the importance of having a solid doctor-patient relationship. Patients should feel comfortable bringing their concerns about their disease and treatment to their doctors, and that includes struggles they may be going through mentally.
“There’s a lot more connected with this disease than just your body getting harmed—there’s your soul, your emotions. There’s a lot that goes with it,” Dr. Flores said. “I think it’s very important to understand that about your patients so you can treat them appropriately. Once they know you see them and where they’re coming from, that’s when you get the, ‘Doc, I’ll do whatever you say, whatever you tell me.’ That’s when you can really get them to the best treatment that they need.”
There are also plenty of resources available for people living with cancer who feel like they’re struggling mentally, from traditional therapy to support groups to integrative medicine that may include treatment approaches like acupuncture or meditation. Check out SurvivorNet’s resources on mental health for cancer survivors.