Psychological aspects of cancer can mean any of the thoughts, feelings and emotions you have that impact on your daily life. Being diagnosed with cancer affects you as a person, not just the part of you where the cancer is. Cancer affects people in different ways. You'll be receiving huge amounts of information, and having tests, scans and lots of clinic appointments. It's quite common to be scared, worried or feel sad. You might have other stresses such as worries over money, work and family. These pressures can make us feel helpless and at times even hopeless about the future.
However, this may not mean you're clinically depressed. It's important to recognise when we need a bit of extra help to cope, and when we feel overwhelmed and find it hard to manage from day to day.
Always talk to someone close to you that you trust if you have any of these feelings. Sometimes just talking and sharing can help you. Speak to your GP, neuroendocrine nurse or consultant. There may be specific concerns that require help from an appropriate professional such as a councillor or psychologist.
Practical ways to cope
- Take deep breaths when you're feeling excessive anxiety. This can calm your thoughts, help you to deal with situations.
- Attend a support groups. PLANTS or NET Patient Foundation have regular meeting that you may find useful.
- Make time to relax. If there's an activity you've found relaxing in the past, try this first.
- Go to massage or aromatherapy sessions.
- Do some exercise or set yourself physical goals and challenges.
- Keep doing things socially that have helped you thrive in the past. Be around people that make you feel happy or put a smile on your face. Plan something to do that you look forward to.
- Focus on things you can control such as your eating habits, exercise, hobbies, and other daily responsibilities, and don't dwell on the things you can't control.
- Take control of your cancer - learn all you can about neuroendocrine cancer. This can help you make decisions on your treatment.