Patients & Families
Patients and Families
Emotional Challenges

When you are first diagnosed with cancer, it is normal to experience a wide range of emotions such as, sadness, anger, helplessness, depression, anxiety or fear. You may feel like you are losing control of your life. It is important to remember that these reactions and feelings are normal. Cancer affects the human spirit as much as it affects the human body. It may challenge your goals, values, and beliefs.

Cancer can be a difficult and stressful illness. Many people experience distress during their cancer experience. To better understand how you are doing, your healthcare team may ask you to complete a short Screening for Distress Questionnaire. Distress can be described in many ways; some people describe distress as a general feeling of discomfort or sadness. The questionnaire will only take a few minutes to complete and will help your healthcare team better understand and support you in dealing with your illness and its treatment.

You are not alone in having to deal with your feelings and emotions. Your family, your friends, and especially your healthcare team can help you explore and deal with your feelings. Let them know when you are ready to talk about your emotions, hopes and fears.

You may want to join a support group, or be referred for counseling or psychotherapy. Reconnecting with your religious or spiritual beliefs may also be helpful.