Cancer Treatment Centers of America

Emotional / psychological

If you are fighting cancer, it is not uncommon to experience psychological distress. Whether you are coping with the diagnosis, the challenges of treatment, or continued worry about a recurrence, emotions brought on by the cancer experience can be difficult to handle.

Cancer may bring on a range of emotions, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Shock/disbelief
  • Fear/uncertainty
  • Guilt
  • Grief/sadness
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Anger/frustration
  • Feelings of isolation
  • Vulnerability/helplessness 

Psychological care is normal and necessary, and is an integral part of cancer care. Addressing your psychological well-being can help you feel more relaxed and in control, cope better during treatment, overcome anxiety and depression, and enjoy life.

Tips for improving your psychological well-being

  • Find a new outlook. Focus on what you can change, not on what you can’t change.
  • Try not to generalize. Cancer means something different to each individual. Everyone experiences cancer differently and your experience is unique to you.
  • Talk about your feelings. Reach out to family and friends, other cancer survivors a spiritual leader, etc.
  • Make healthy lifestyle choices. Pay attention to your needs for rest, nutrition, exercise and private time.
  • Seek professional counseling, including individual, couple, family and/or group therapy.
  • Try mind-body techniques, such as relaxation therapies, laughter therapy, stress management interventions, energy therapies, etc.

NOTE: This information is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to making decisions about your treatment.