How Your Mind Can Help Your Body When You Are Diagnosed With Breast Cancer

Emotional turmoil in response to a diagnosis of breast cancer can affect a person’s physical health as well as psychological well-being. Thousands of women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year and many of them have no family history of breast cancer or other known risk factors, then the diagnosis comes as a devastating surprise.

What Impact Does a Breast Cancer Diagnosis Have on Psychological Well-Being?

Receiving a diagnosis of breast cancer can be one of the most distressing events a woman ever has to experience. Any woman may not know where to turn for help.

Distress normally continues after the initial shock of diagnosis has passed. As women begin what is often a long treatment process, they may find themselves faced with new problems. They may find their personal relationships in turmoil for example. They may feel tired all the time. They may be worried about their symptoms, treatment, and mortality. They may even face discrimination from employers or insurance companies.

Factors like the above can contribute to chronic stress, anxiety, and depression.

Why Is It Important To Seek Psychological Help?

Feeling overwhelmed is a normal response to breast cancer diagnosis. But negative emotions can cause women to stop doing the things that are good for them and start doing things that are bad for anyone but especially worrisome for those with a serious disease.

Women with breast cancer may start eating poorly like eating fewer meals and choosing foods that have low nutritional value. They may cut back on exercise. They may have trouble getting a good night’s rest. And they may withdraw from family and friends. At the same time, these women may use alcohol, cigarettes, caffeine, or other drugs in an attempt to soothe themselves.

A breast cancer diagnosis can lead to more severe problems. For some woman, the news can lead to depression which can make it even more difficult to adjust, make the most of treatments and take advantage of whatever sources of social support that is available. Some women become so disheartened by the ordeal of cancer that they refuse to undergo surgery or simply stop going to radiation or chemotherapy appointments.

In our next article, we will talk about how psychological treatment can help women adjust to the news.