“The cure of many diseases is unknown to physicians . . . because they are ignorant of the whole. For the part can never be well unless the whole is well.” —Plato

Stress and Cancer

Stress can be caused both by daily responsibilities and routine events, as well as by more unusual events, such as a trauma or illness in oneself or a close family member. When people feel that they are unable to manage or control changes caused by cancer or normal life activities, they are in distress. Distress has become increasingly recognized as a factor that can reduce the quality of life of cancer patients.

Reducing Stress in the Stressed-Out World of Cancer

Authors: Susan Diamond, L.C.S.W. Ernest Rosenbaum, M.D. David Spiegel, M.D.

Key Concepts: An emergency check list to limit the emotional side effects of the cancer crisis and use cancer as a teachable moment regarding how to cope with life's unknowns

In This Article: Crisis Intervention involves expert assistance to help reduce psychological trauma. Written with deep perspectives from a psychiatrist and social worker, this article provides an emergency checklist to reduce the fallout that is a byproduct of the crisis situations common during critical moments in the cancer journey.  The article hopes to derail the long term effects of unhealthy coping strategies - it's a voice from your future self, guided by experts, that says: here is some advice that will protect you, the survivor, from the understandable but addressable trauma that goes with this territory.  

The pattern of response you establish during an acute crisis is likely to become cemented in place, regardless of its relative effectiveness. Effective coping involves taking in and processing the emotional reaction to the danger and seeking the opportunity for a response that at least mitigates the danger.

The Waiting Process - Hurry Up and Wait!

Authors: Ernest H. Rosenbaum, M.D. Isadora R. Rosenbaum, M.A.

Key Concepts: How to reduce the psychological impact of cancer treatment related waiting

In This Article: Unknown or unexpected waits are a burdensome part of life but in the context of cancer they can cause a great deal of stress. The Rosenbaums' author this short piece to address the negative consequences of waiting and anticipation. 

The doomsday scenarios you conjure up during stressful waiting periods are usually far worse than reality.

When Your Spouse Has Cancer

Authors: Andrew W. Kneier, Ph.D.

Key Concepts: Guidelines to help provide the appropriate support for your partner

In This Article: The author addresses the conditions and issues that are common when cancer intervenes in a relationship. The information and tips can help create an improved coping environment sending the message that "the two of you are in it together." The article provides some extra details relating to how to communicate, support your partner's true feelings, and confronting sexual issues.

Although your spouse has cancer, the illness is really happening to both of you. Your life is being disrupted in many of the same ways. You are sharing many of the same emotions and concerns. You are both challenged to find constructive ways of dealing with the disruptions and threats posed by cancer and with the side effects of medical treatments.