Patients, relatives, and caregivers may have emotional health issues as a result of a cancer diagnosis. Anxiety, depression, and anguish are typical emotions experienced after this life-altering event. Roles in all aspects of life like professional, personal may all change. It’s crucial to recognize these changes and request help when needed.


When dealing with cancer, both patients and family members frequently experience depressive symptoms. Feelings of sadness and grief are common. Plans, goals, and the future may all appear hazy. However, there is cause for concern if a person has been depressed for a long period or is having problems going about their daily lives.

Periods of melancholy and moderate depression are both possible, as well as more severe and pervasive depression. The more severe kind is frequently referred to as clinical depression or serious depression.

A person with major or clinical depression finds it challenging to operate and adhere to treatment efforts. One in four cancer patients experience it, but it is treatable. Depression after a cancer diagnosis is more likely to occur in people who have previously experienced it.

What to watch out for

Anyone who exhibits depression symptoms or indicators might be encouraged to seek help by family and friends. Depression can occasionally coexist with signs of anxiety or discomfort. 

Dealing with depression

Counseling, medicine, or a combination of the two, along with occasionally other specialist treatments, may be used to address depression in cancer patients. These therapies alleviate the cancer patient’s depression, ease their pain, and enhance their quality of life.

The patient’s options

Discuss your emotions and any worries you or your family members may have. Feeling depressed, irate, or frustrated is acceptable, but try not to vent your emotions out on those who are important to you. It’s critical to pay close attention to one another’s words, come to a consensus on how you might support one another, and encourage rather than coerce one another to speak.

  • Look for assistance through counselling and support organizations.
  • Use spiritual practices like prayer, meditation, and mindfulness.
  • Several times every day, practice deep breathing and relaxation techniques. (For instance, close your eyes, take a deep breath, and then concentrate on and relax each part of your body, starting with your toes and working your way up to your head. Imagine yourself at a lovely location when you’re at ease, like a sunny meadow or a breezy beach.
  • To deal with the changes in your life, think about talking with the best counsellor.

What family members can do?

Ask the patient politely if they would want to discuss their worries and fears. Never compel a patient to speak before they are ready.

Without passing judgement on the patient’s or your own emotions, listen intently. It’s acceptable to call attention to and reject negative beliefs.

Stay away from encouraging them to “cheer up” or “think optimistically.”

Choose together how you may help one another.

If the person is extremely afraid, anxious, or depressed, don’t attempt to reason with them. Ask for assistance from a cancer care expert.

Consult a member of the cancer care team for assistance.

Participate in their favourite activities with them.

Remember that caregivers might experience depression as well. All of these recommendations are also applicable to caregivers.

Spend some time on yourself. Engage in activities you enjoy or spend time with friends.

Think about seeking out group or private counselling for yourself.


In general, people who have been diagnosed with cancer frequently struggle with anxiety. At various times during treatment and recovery, cancer patients, their loved ones, and caregivers may feel fear and anxiety. Seeing a lump or another potential sign or symptom of cancer might cause anxiety and panic in addition to knowing that they have cancer or that the condition has returned. Apprehension may also result from a fear of being sick, seeing a doctor, or having testing done (the feeling that something bad is going to happen).

What to watch out for

It’s common to experience fear when ill. People may be scared of death, uncontrollable suffering, or what happens after death, particularly what might happen to loved ones. Again, friends and family members may experience the same thing. Again, loved ones of the client may experience the same thing. 

Anxiety symptoms and indicators can appear in cancer patients and their caregivers. If the signs and symptoms persist for the most of the day, almost every day, and are interfering with daily activities, they may be more serious. A recommendation for a mental health evaluation may be beneficial in certain situations. Remember that a person could occasionally claim not to be experiencing these feelings although displaying all the indicators. However, counselling can frequently be helpful if they’re prepared to acknowledge that they feel distressed or uncomfortable.

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