Cancer is a major disease burden globally. Ordinarily, cancer treatment may cause residual disability and limitations to daily living, requiring long-term healthcare management and support. Thus, cancer patients experience the stress of diagnosis and physically demanding treatment programs. Without proper cancer support treatment, the effects of cancer can negatively impact mental health and social wellness. This post provides critical insights on psychosocial cancer problems and cancer support treatments.
Psychosocial Problems for Cancer Patients
Mental Health Problems
Cancer patients and their families often experience emotional and mental health issues. The level of psychological distress varies across patients based on the type of cancer, stage of cancer, and status of impairment. As a result, cancer patients are likely to exhibit anxiety, adjustment disorder, and even depression. Ordinarily, such distress results from uncertainties, feeling of vulnerability, and changes in family roles. For instance, stress levels may be more prevalent in parents with cancer due to the loss of their caregiving abilities. Even when one completes cancer treatment, the experience of a chronic disease may result in post-traumatic disorders. Such high-stress levels require psychosocial support interventions.
Cancer-related changes may result in developmental issues in the patients. Usually, as one matures, one develops physical, cognitive, and behavioral abilities to cope with daily life. However, the effects of cancer can limit such development, leading to more dependence. For instance, cancer treatment may interrupt physical, social, and financial independence, which manifests as developmental delays. This risk is more pronounced in children and adolescents undergoing long-term cancer treatment. Such disruption may affect their physical and social development processes.
There are many triggers to financial stress for cancer patients and their caregivers. Given that cancer treatment may lead to loss of jobs and incomes, it can lead to financial distress. Also, the situation arises from the high cost of cancer treatment programs. As a result, a cancer patient may struggle paying medical bills, mortgage, rent, and food. Even with medical insurance, the policy may not cover the cost of medication.
Psychosocial Cancer Support Treatment
There are several cancer support treatment options to manage the highlighted psychosocial problems. Primarily, a cancer patient can access counseling and education services. In counseling, patients have an opportunity to explore their feelings, concerns, and behaviors for mental wellness. Typically, counseling services use a one-on-one or family setting. Again, individuals can join a support group for patients, families, and caregivers. Support groups help individuals deal with feelings, situations, and concerns by learning from each other's experiences. Lastly, cancer patients can also seek spiritual support to explore challenging questions such as death. All these support services are provided by professional psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors, and social workers.
Cancer support treatment can help overcome psychosocial problems such as mental, developmental, and financial stress. Talk to your oncology team about the available psychosocial support services.Share