Psychological issues
Breast Health
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Psychological issues

 

Most patients experience psychological problems following the diagnosis of breast cancer and the most difficult period is between diagnosis and surgery or treatment.

 

Breast cancer patients will experience the following emotions:

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Anger.

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Depression.

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Anxiety.

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A sense of helplessness.

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A sense of powerlessness.

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Vulnerability.

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A sense of unfairness.

 

Breast cancer affects not only the patient but also the patient’s family and open communication between family members is important. Intimacy issues between partners must be addressed and can be problematic as each partner tries to come to terms with their feelings.

 

Breast cancer patients will also experience certain fears around their treatment such a fear of being sick, fear of being in pain, fear of the side effects of treatment and fear of disfigurement. These should be discussed with your doctor as many side effects of treatment and surgery can be alleviated and knowing this will help. Anxiety about disfigurement after mastectomy can be allayed by pointing out to the patient that reconstructive surgery is an option in many breast cancer cases.

 

The more you know about breast cancer and the treatment options available the better equipped you will be to deal with it. Try and speak openly about your condition with your partner, your family, your friends and your doctor rather than keeping your feelings bottled up. It may be helpful to speak to fellow breast cancer patients, psychologists and social workers or to contact an organisation such as Reach for Recovery or Bosom Buddies.