After a cancer diagnosis, many people are angry, scared, confused, and depressed. All these feelings are a perfectly normal reaction. Still, if your feelings are getting in the way of you living your life and focusing on treatment and healing, you might want to consider seeking help from someone who has experience in helping people navigate the emotional roller coaster of cancer. A number of small studies have shown that a specific type of counseling therapy, called mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, can help ease pain, fatigue, depression, and other psychological distress in women diagnosed with breast cancer.
Breast cancer touches all of our lives, and I am no exception. Early detection meant cure, right? As a single mother of two young daughters, I was all about early detection and cures. The technician greeted me with a smile and warm hands, and for both I was grateful. The procedure, while uncomfortable, was not unbearable.
Getting support: counselling, support groups and mindfulness
If you've ever been diagnosed with breast cancer recently or a long time ago , free BCFNZ-funded counselling is available when you need someone to talk to. Some people will prefer to see a counsellor when they are first diagnosed or during treatment. Others find that the full impact of their experience doesn't hit them until after treatment stops and they are discharged from regular medical follow-up. Often it's helpful to talk things through with someone who is not otherwise involved in your life. BCFNZ has partnered with Stratos, a national counselling service, to provide support for people coping with the emotional challenges which often accompany breast cancer.
A substantial number of cancer patients experience depression. This study investigated treatment preferences for depression. Participants were recruited from a surgical oncology office and asked to complete the survey as they waited for their appointment. Preference was compared using Wilcoxon Signed Ranks tests. Survivors prefered counseling for treatment of depression.