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Support on Your Cancer Journey

  • Emotional Support for You and Your Loved Ones

    Cancer is a major illness and it is important to remember that as medical research and technology is constantly improving, the treatment for cancer is also constantly improving. That does not mean, however, that going through the cancer journey is easy.

    doctor providing emotional support for cancer patient

    Cancer treatment can take a long time. Treatment methods such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy can cause side effects. Some of these side effects may affect you physically, such as hair loss and blisters on your skin. Other side effects could affect your well-being, such as fatigue and nausea. In addition, even after cancer treatment has ended, people with cancer must return for regular check-ups for the rest of their lives and stay vigilant against cancer recurrence.

  • Your Emotional Reaction to a Cancer Diagnosis

    From the moment you are diagnosed with cancer, you may find yourself with some negative feelings. These feelings are normal for anybody diagnosed with a major illness, and it is important to identify such feelings so that you know how you can cope with them.

    cancer patient in shock after diagnosis

    Some of the feelings you may go through include:


    Feeling a sense of denial at your diagnosis, or being unable to react to the reality of having cancer is normal. Shock is a natural defence mechanism when your mind is unable to comprehend an unexpected situation.

    Someone in shock and denial at their cancer diagnosis may refuse to seek treatment. In these cases, the people around you may think that your reaction is less than normal. Your mind is actually trying to come to terms with the information and is uncertain of the right way to feel and react at the moment. It is good to take a bit of time to cope with your emotions, but bear in mind that the faster you begin your cancer treatment, the more effective it can be.


    It is natural for anybody diagnosed with cancer to feel fear. Many people still see cancer as a deadly disease that is incurable. This is a myth, because with the advancements in cancer care and treatment, many cancers can be treated and cured.

    Still, it is reasonable to feel afraid as cancer is a major illness, and you do not know what to expect during treatment. There are many stories out there about the debilitating effects of cancer and cancer treatment. The best way to overcome your fear is by getting accurate information from your doctor about what you are expected to face during treatment.


    While scientists have been able to identify the risk factors that can lead to cancer, there are no clear causes to many common cancers. This may lead to you feeling angry as you think that you do not ‘deserve’ to contract cancer. Anger is a common reaction to a cancer diagnosis, but it is important to be mindful to this emotion in a healthy way, and not take it out on your family and loved ones.

    A good way to manage anger is to harness the emotion towards your determination to go through your cancer journey towards recovery. You can also release your emotions by talking to a trusted family member or friend, joining a support group of cancer patients or relaxing yourself through deep breathing techniques.


    It is natural for you to feel sad about your cancer diagnosis. It is in fact one of the most common stages you will go through during your cancer journey. However, if the sadness takes over your life, you might find yourself depressed, losing interest in your hobbies or isolating yourself from other people.

    Keeping a healthy and positive mentality is very important in your recovery process. Try to discover the best ways for you to release the sadness. Some effective ways of working through your feelings are listening to music, keeping a journal and being creative with art. Surround yourself with supportive friends and family members and empower yourself with knowledge on positive psychology.

  • The Importance of Emotional Support

    No one can be expected to be cheerful all the time, least of all if you are dealing with a life-changing disease such as cancer. It is important for you to learn how you can manage your negative emotions and keep a hopeful outlook on your treatment and recovery.

    happy cancer patient with doctor providing support

    Cancer is hard to deal with all alone. Although talking about your cancer can be hard at first, most people find that sharing their thoughts and feelings helps them deal with their cancer. Having emotional support from your family and loved ones can be a very helpful tool for you during your cancer journey.

    It is possible for the people close to you to feel the same negative emotions as you. The best way for you and your family to learn how to cope with your emotions is to choose a healthcare provider that understands the emotional turmoil that cancer patients and their family members experience.

    An understanding specialist who is willing to take the time to answer your questions and soothe your fears can help you know your condition better, and also assist you to prepare for the treatment ahead. It is also good to have a doctor who is willing to help you explore your treatment options and counsel you through your decision process. During your cancer treatment, experienced medical staff who can empathise with your needs can help comfort you during the process.

    Having a support group can also help greatly with managing your emotions during your cancer journey. Many times, other cancer patients are the ones who can best empathise with what you are going through. If you require a caregiver, or are a caregiver for a cancer patient, there can be a lot of stress during the journey. A network of cancer caregivers can share their experiences and extend emotional help.

    A professionally trained counsellor can help you and your loved ones through this difficult period. Counselling helps you manage your emotions and stay positive and hopeful. Sometimes, your loved ones may wish to provide emotional support but they may not know how to best share your troubles. A counsellor can help improve your communication with them and advise them accordingly.

    Find the Emotional Support You Need

    CanHOPE is a non-profit cancer counselling and support service provider by Parkway Cancer Centre at Gleneagles Hospital. The CanHope team can help patients during their cancer treatment, and providing counselling and education for them and their families. The team has dieticians who can recommend dietary plans for patients to stay healthy during treatment, and support group communities for patients to draw strength from each other. The staff at CanHOPE, experienced in working together with cancer patients and their families, aim to inspire hope and positivity to help them better cope with cancer. Find out more about CanHOPE support groups and programmes.

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