Cancer treatments cause major changes in a survivor’s appearance such as hair loss, weight loss, fertility, etc. This triggers social and emotional issues in oneself like how a patient feels, how he/she acts publicly, etc. Such problems are known as psychological problems.
People who undergo cancer treatment may experience ‘sudden’ mood swings in their behavior like sad, anger, depression, helpless or fear. A patient also feels negativity all the time that usually gets improved as the treatment comes to an end.
How does cancer affect emotionally and socially?
There are many factors that trigger people to have social and economic problems during the course of their treatment. This could be related to the individual, his cancer treatment and physical changes.
Younger age, gender specifically female, marital status, financial status, damaged history with alcohol or smoke are some of the factors that are related to the individual.
While getting treated if a person’s tumor spreads to the other parts of the body, has a limited time left, experiences side-effects while undergoing the treatment, severe pain, swelling from having lymph nodes removed or treated or extreme tiredness, then these are some of the cancer-related treatment factors.
What are the physical changes a patient undergoes during the cancer treatment?
Several sessions of chemotherapy, hormone therapy or radiation therapy bring a drastic change in the patient’s physical appearance. Some of them include:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Severe pain
- Fertility issues
- Sexual problems
- Sleep problems
- Difficulty in menopause
- Hair loss
- Weight loss
When to seek professional advice
Anxiety and Depression are the two phases a patient experiences. He avoids social interactions, fears every time, sweating out of nervousness and eventually, starts over-consumption of alcohol or drugs. Although it is common to experience anxiety and depression simultaneously, it is important to refer to medical help as soon as possible before it gets too late.
Which doctors are recommended for different phases of the treatment?
Depending on the kind of situation the patient is going through, he/she should consult:
- Psychologists or psychiatrists for psychological issues.
- Doctors such as a team of oncologists, cancer care nurses can identify the problem and treat it accordingly.
- A team of health workers or cancer care coordinator.
If one wants to come out with positive outcomes, then consult a team of best oncologists in India via a well-established medical travel assistant company.
What are the ways to educate a cancer patient?
Although it is hard for a cancer survivor to cope up with its treatment cycle, it is necessary to interact with a cancer specialist or supportive friends to make this phase better. It can be done by:
- Interacting with close friends, family or relatives.
- Having an engaging, informative session with the doctor to understand cancer better.
- Planning a day to make it as enjoyable as you can.
- Eat and sleep well.
- Doing things that make you feel better like wear make-up, dress nicely, etc.
- Believing in God and have faith in yourself.
- Encircling yourself with positive people.
Other than this, it is important to stay active by:
- Doing some exercise even if it’s a daily normal walk.
- Including dancing, swimming in your routine. It releases tension from your muscles.
- Planning some enjoyable activities such as dancing, driving, gardening, completing small household chores.
- Staying in touch with positive people.
- Accepting social activities which really works.
At first, it may not seem enjoyable to you, but notice the pleasure they give in return after some time.
Meanwhile, you can also follow a good routine for a good night sleep. This may include:
- Try to wake up at the same time you used to do before.
- Stay away from things that worry you.
- Say ‘No’ to caffeinated drinks post 4 pm and drink only two cups of caffeinated drinks a day.
- Stop all kinds of activities 30 minutes prior to the bedtime.
- Say ‘No’ to alcohol, drugs as well as smoke as it majorly disturbs your sleep pattern.
How to deal with the body and sexual changes?
Cancer brings noticeable physical changes in a person. It could be hair loss, skin changes, fertility problems, scarring in different parts of the body and more. Not only body changes, but a cancer patient also experiences sexual changes such as fatigue that creates a problem during sexual intercourse. The best part is that these problems disappear once the treatment is done. Your partner must find ways to cheer you up like hugging, cuddling, holding, touching, etc.
Like every disease, a person goes through major changes during different phases of cancer treatment. It is important to share your problem with your doctor and ask your partner to be around as much as he/she can. This helps a lot.