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Cancer’ the term gives jitters and the thought alone of being diagnosed with cancer is enough to cause severe distress and anxiety.

When diagnosed with cancer a person needs to cope with various things, the procedures and the protocols related to the treatment, uncertainties and scare of prognosis and relapse, the physical, psychological and emotional side effects of treatment.

Besides these, there are other concerns as well, like finances to pay for medical care, loss of time at work or school, etc.

The ability to cope with this stressful procedure depends upon a person’s personality. The way in which a person attempts to regulate the physicalemotional, psychological distress varies with every individual. The support from the family also has a great influence on the patient’s emotional well being. If the family supports the patient with warmth, empathy and concern then this reduces the distress and pain.

Sometimes there are certain positive outcomes of cancer in a patient’s life. Surviving and facing such a life threatening disease makes a patient emotionally stronger, more self-sufficient, efficient, and positive towards life.

It also mostly has a positive effect on their personal relationship. Facing such hardships makes a person rearrange his life priorities; giving importance to what really matters.

Research shows that children are able to cope better with cancer diagnosis, if the environment around them is less stressed and more positive. Also children adapt better than adults and adolescents to cancer diagnosis.

But there are certain physical late effects of pediatric cancer treatment like reduced sensory functioning, damaged liver, kidneys, infertility, etc. which can have a deteriorating effect on the quality of life of the patient.

Some patients adapt repressive coping strategy where they repress the negative stimuli and increase their defensiveness to reduce the distress levels. Research shows that such coping strategies help the patients both adult and children to adapt to a seriously threatening event.

          Vidhi Pipara Adolescent Psychologist – Guidance on personal or psychological problems in Ahmedabad,Gujarat and India.

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