Tips for Coping With Cancer

A cancer diagnosis can create feelings of stress or fear. There is no right or wrong way to react to these emotions. But, learning how to handle them can improve your quality of life, as well as that of your caregivers. Please talk to your healthcare team if any of your symptoms continue, get worse, recur, or if you have any new or unusual symptoms.

Tips for Handling the Emotional Challenges of Cancer

What Am I Feeling?

At different times during your journey, you may feel sad, anxious, or scared.

Look out for:

  • Body appearance and self-image changes
    • Treatment for cancer may cause distinct changes in your appearance
  • Worry, sadness, or fear
  • Trouble solving problems and concentrating
  • Tense muscles
  • Dry mouth
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Irritability or anger
  • Restlessness

What Can I Do About It?

There are many ways to manage the stress or worry about your cancer.

You can:

  • Discuss any and all symptoms with your healthcare provider
  • Talk about any feelings and fears that you’re having with your family or friends
  • Reach out to a therapist or social worker
  • Join a support group for help
  • Use meditation or prayer
  • Keep a positive outlook, use your energy to focus on wellness
  • Keep a journal or express yourself artistically through drawing, painting, or music

Please visit the Your Cancer Game Plan partner websites for additional resources and helpful ideas for communicating with family and friends.

Even if you are not currently experiencing emotional issues related to your cancer experience, keep this information handy in case you begin to feel any changes in your emotions at a later point; it may be helpful. If you have any questions or concerns, share them with your healthcare team. If you are experiencing serious emotional challenges, it is important to seek help immediately.

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