Mesothelioma Resources: Cancer Support Information

Whenever a person is diagnosed with cancer, a number of emotions will undoubtedly be running through their head. Support can be a key component to surviving cancer because it gives the cancer patient much-needed emotional and psychological confidence. For this purpose, cancer support groups are especially effective. These are groups that provide empathy in that they foster a setting where cancer patients are encouraged to open up about enduring cancer, mainly with other cancer patients who know what they are experiencing.

Types of Cancer

Cancer is a disease that comes in many shapes, sizes, and severity levels. Each different type of cancer attacks the cancer patient in a different manner; this is usually manifested in the various physical as well as emotional reactions of patients. For instance, colorectal cancer is the third-leading cause of death by cancer in the world and the fourth most common cancer in the US. A common physical reaction is blood in the stool and a sense of unsatisfactory elimininations. Since the treatment of this form of cancer includes surgery and radiation, that can wear down a patient’s emotional state of mind. Surgery can leave patients disfigured, and chemotherapy and radiation can induce hair loss, nausea, cramps and fatigue, all of which work to compound a patient’s already diminished health and even induce depression.

Other common types of cancer—like breast cancer, bladder cancer, kidney cancer and prostate cancer, to name a few—also bring about physical and emotional reactions. For instance, bladder cancer causes physical pain during urination and the appearance of blood in the urine. Emotionally, patients enduring bladder cancer will likely suffer the same psychological tribulations that colorectal cancer patients experience. Treatment for bladder cancer involves chemotherapy and surgery. Both will leave patients enduring a lot of aggravation that may make them feel discouraged due to feeling worse than at the actual time of diagnosis.

Helping Children Cope with Cancer

When children are struck with cancer, they are generally more vulnerable due to them not having the same coping mechanism as adults. However, children are often capable of overcoming more than what their parents may think them able to, which can be attributed to the resilience of the human spirit. A recommended course of action in helping children deal with having cancer is to address their emotional and psychological side. A strong psyche during the experience of cancer is quite important since morale and the right attitude play a role in the success of overcoming cancer. Children who have cancer may benefit from a myriad of different forms of therapy. In example, art therapy has been shown to have positive effects in children who suffer the disease.

Art therapy involves nothing more than having children who are afflicted with cancer draw out their feelings. This is a cathartic process that allows children to do two things. First, they are able to express themselves, and when they do, they are able to look at themselves and their cancer ordeal in a different way. Secondly, art therapy also allows parents and other people to observe exactly just how children are feeling in such a situation. Successful approaches to helping children deal with having cancer relate to looking at children as more than just patients who are suffering cancer. Successfully dealing with children who have cancer entails a wellness model that centers on treating children as whole persons.

Helping Families Cope Cancer Diagnosis in a Loved One

Sometimes, helping families cope with a loved one who has cancer can be even more challenging than dealing with cancer on your own. This is because the families are so over-invested in emotion with a family member, that it compounds their pain and suffering. Families should be told about the health problems of their loved one as soon as possible, and complete honesty about their loved one’s exact illness and prognosis is integral to effective care. Otherwise, the trust that is so important in a family dynamic, especially one where a loved one is facing a serious illness, will be broken and hard to rebuild.

Another aspect of helping families deal with a loved one with cancer requires education in the form of the afflicted patient discussing their illness with family members and loved ones. In these dialogues, cancer patients can prepare their families to become more familiar with specialized terms and words that they will be hearing more of as treatment progresses. Such education can be comforting to families because it will make them feel as though they have a real understanding of the looming problems that those stricken with cancer will experience.

Support Groups

Support groups were designed as a source of both strength and comfort in helping cancer patients cope both psychologically and emotionally during their battle with cancer. Support groups for cancer are designed in much of the same sociological construction that other support groups are. Today, a myriad of cancer support groups exists, ranging from online support groups to charitable organizations, forums to networks, and family support structures.

Cancer support groups are essential in helping an individual begin to cope with the various and oncoming stages of the cancer process. Community support groups for cancer are commonly guided by professionals such as psychologists, doctors, or even social workers; these kinds of groups routinely are held in hospitals, churches or community gathering centers. The kinds of support groups available are diverse: Sometimes, support groups are established specifically to address patients who are burdened with a particular type of cancer, while other groups are established to handle patients who are dealing with any form of cancer.

Cancer support addresses the psychological and emotional aspects of persons afflicted with cancer. Sometimes, these very real needs are overshadowed as not being as important as the physical need of recovering from cancer, but good cancer therapy will also focus on psychological and emotional aspects of cancer patients. A good portion of the experience of cancer deals with having the right, mental attitude, and obtaining the right cancer support is certainly a crucial part of recovery.

For more information about cancer support, consult these links: