Psychological Challenges of Surviving Cancer

Cancer can be such a dreadful disease that can have a life-changing effect on anyone’s life. Some people hold strong while some may not. Those who do sometimes are fortunate enough to survive their battle with cancer along with the current effective treatments now available. Although they may have survived the cancer battle, still there may be other challenges ahead for them to face.

Life After Treatment

One of the challenges that cancer survivors have to face is their life after cancer treatment. It is no secret that most cancer treatments may have physically and emotionally draining effects on cancer survivors that may also lead to certain changes. This can sometimes put some patients in great distress that may continue on even after they have completed intensive cancer treatment. The idea of adjusting to this kind of life can sometimes be enough to cause stress in some cancer survivors.

Underlying Factors To Adjustment

How cancer survivors may adjust to their lives after their ordeal may depend on certain factors such as age, treatment, social support, and individual coping abilities. Studies have shown that people affected by cancer at different periods of their lives also may react differently or adapt to a life after surviving cancer treatments successfully.

Researchers have found out that most survivors of childhood cancer early in their lives usually grow up normally into adulthood, both psychologically and emotionally. They are also become as well-adjusted to life as their siblings. But the same may not be as true to those who survived cancer well into their teens.

Cancer patients who survived cancer around the adolescent stage are 1.5 times more likely to suffer from depression or anxiety than their siblings and are 1.7 times more likely to display anti-social behavior. Those adolescent as well as adult survivors of cancer are also known to exhibit certain cognitive problems possibly due to the effects of cancer treatments that may affect their brain and its development.

Other Concerns

Aside from surviving cancer, some survivors also have to deal with ongoing concerns associated with their experience. One of them is fear that their cancer might recur. This fear may develop into bouts of anxiety in some survivors especially when they associate certain things with their cancer experience such as follow up medical visits, pain, and other factors.

One other concern that most cancer survivors have to deal with involve their physical condition. A common effect of going through cancer treatments has been physical fatigue. Survivors may still feel the lack of energy and overall weariness which can seem to affect them well after treatment. Cancer-related fatigue still remains poorly understood is an ongoing concern for most cancer survivors.