Feeling Stressed? You're Not Alone
- Stress, anxiety, and even PTSD are common among cancer patients
- The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the mental health of patients with cancer, and has increased the level of stress and anxiety.
- Evidence is lacking that stress alone will affect cancer treatments, but it can cause behaviors that may interfere with a patient’s health
- Patients should ask their treatment team what resources are available to help them deal with stress and anxiety; don’t hesitate to reach out for help
But there is no evidence that stress directly affects treatment outcomes. “We don’t know that stress worsens someone’s outcomes simply by saying they were stressed,” she says.Read More
Resources Are Available
It’s important to remember that you are not alone and that there are many other people going through exactly the same thing, or have already gone through it. You should lean on those people. With a global pandemic ongoing, it’s not at all surprising that many people are experiencing an increase in anxiety so it’s important you look around at the resources available to you and ask for support.
You can check with the hospital where you are receiving your treatment; there may be social workers available for you to speak with. Telemedicine has also taken off during our time quarantined at home so there may be a way for you to get support right from your home.
There are also many support groups that are online doing zoom meetups, so patients can connect with each other virtually.
“I would really want patients to not feel that they can’t seek the mental health support that everyone needs at this time—but particularly cancer patients,” said Dr. Comen