Counseling for cancer patients and survivors
Counseling for cancer patients and survivors (Salem Health: Cancer)
Why counseling might be needed: Those diagnosed with cancer, and their families, face many complex issues at all stages of the illness. The experience of being diagnosed with, and treated for, cancer changes every aspect of life: The person suddenly is faced with combating a disease with an uncertain outcome. Patients must strive to cope with the physical aspects of cancer, including pain, fatigue, and treatment side effects, as well as psychological and emotional issues, such as fear, stress, anger, denial, change in physical appearance, loss, death, anxiety, and even guilt. Families and caregivers also experience intense emotional reactions. In addition, the person with cancer may need to address financial and legal issues, spiritual issues, and the practical aspects of living with cancer. Together, these emotional and practical concerns often are referred to as psychosocial issues.
Thus, a person who has cancer (and his or her family members) may seek counseling for help with a specific issue or feeling (such as death), for support in working through the many emotions encountered throughout treatment, or simply to “talk through” the experience with someone else and to retain a sense of meaning in life. It is important for both the patient and family to understand that seeking help to address these issues can be beneficial and requires a great deal of courage.
Emotional and psychological...
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For Further Information (Salem Health: Cancer)
Cousins, Norman. Anatomy of an Illness as Perceived by the Patient. New York: W. W. Norton, 1979.
Fiore, Neil. The Road Back to Health: Coping with the Emotional Aspects of Cancer. Berkeley, Calif.: Celestial Arts, 1990.
Granet, Roger. Surviving Cancer Emotionally: Learning How to Heal. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 2001.
Holland, Jimmie, and Sheldon Lewis. The Human Side of Cancer. New York: HarperCollins, 2000.
Siegel, Bernie. Love, Medicine, and Miracles. New York: Harper & Row, 1986.
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Other Resources (Salem Health: Cancer)
American Cancer Society. http://www.cancer.org
American Psychosocial Oncology Society. http://www.apos-society.org
Association of Oncology Social Work. http://www.aosw.org
Cancer Hope Network. http://www.cancerhopenetwork.org
National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov
Patient Advocate Foundation. http://www.patientadvocate.org
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