Salinas, CA Depression A Big Problem For Cancer Patientsby Richard Kuehn on 09/02/12
Getting a cancer prognosis can be very depressing, and oncologists across the country are adding programs to help deal with what was previously a side effect many ignored, emotional and psychological distress. Doctors are busy and getting rushed in and out when you have a disease which may be fatal can cause heartbreak, both for the patient and their family. Not surprisingly, more than half of cancer patients suffer from distress ranging from normal feelings of vulnerability and sadness to extreme disabling anxiety and panicked. Many fear how they will be perceived by friends and family, and whether they will ever be able to live a normal life. These feelings can interfere with the immune system and can thwart chemotherapy and other treatments. And the depression some feel makes some of them drop out of treatment programs altogether. Researchers now believethat doctors need to be more diligent testing for depression and anxiety after a patient is given a cancer diagnosis. These symptoms can be treated with medication and by getting the person into a good support group. If you or a loved one is dealing with cancer, speak to your physician or one of the specialists at our local hospitals. They can help in this time of need.