Psychosocial Needs of Women with Breast Cancer
Cancer is a major health concern across the world and the third leading cause of death in the UAE. Breast cancer is the most common in UAE women; they also develop breast cancer a decade earlier than women in Western countries. The UAE government has made progress in fighting breast cancer by encouraging early detection through screening.
In 2015, the Ministry of Health launched an official cancer screening program to enlighten people about cancer and the significance of early detection through regular screenings. Breast cancer in the Arab population has unique features compared to the Western population. Women are encouraged to go for regular checkups instead of going to the hospital whenever they notice symptoms. Early detection increases the efficiency of breast cancer treatment while it might be impossible to treat cancers in the last stage.
The Psychosocial Impacts of Breast Cancer Diagnosis
Receiving news that you have breast cancer can be devastating; however, it doesn’t mean the end of life. Various treatment options work perfectly. Breast cancer, like any other serious disease, comes with challenges both physical and psychological.
Some people suffer from depression and emotional distress. Depression is more than feeling sad; it is a mental illness. Most breast cancer patients experience severe emotional distress which manifests in unpleasant emotions or feelings.
Although post-traumatic stress disorder affects people who have suffered a traumatic experience, patients with cancer can also get it. For instance, they might relive the moment they received the traumatic news of having the disease or they might be easily angered or lack sleep. You might also have increased anxiety; generalized increased disorder makes you extremely fearful without any threat. It is necessary to seek help if you experience any psychological challenges.
Psychological Needs for Women with Breast Cancer
Receiving news that you have breast cancer can take you through emotional turmoil. You don’t have to go through this alone; you can seek help and intervention in the following ways.
Speak to a Psychologist
One of the best ways to protect your mental health is to consult a psychologist in Dubai. Don’t be ashamed to seek help if you have depression or anxiety. Depression manifests in different ways, and people might have varying symptoms. If you feel extremely sad, hopeless, worthless, lack interest, etc. you need to get psychological help.
A psychologist uses various methods to help patients to overcome depression and anxiety. He can use cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT); this is a psychotherapeutic treatment that helps patients understand how to recognize and change disturbing or destructive thought patterns that influence emotions and behaviors negatively.
Interpersonal Therapy (IPT) is another type of psychotherapy treatment where the physician helps you to improve personal relationships and those with others. It’s built on the idea that personal relationships are the foundations of psychological problems. Although depression might not be caused by relationships, it affects them and can cause rifts and problems.
Consult Your Gynaecologist
If you’re experiencing psychological issues and don’t know where to turn, you can consult your gynaecologist. A significant role of being a gynaecologist is to conduct breast examination. Most women of childbearing age or in menopause visit a gynaecologist regularly. These physicians diagnose breast cancer than other healthcare professionals.
Consulting a gynaecologist is a good idea because the physician is not only qualified to examine the symptoms of breast cancer, but she can also counsel you on your fears and provide tips. You can also go for screening and learn more about this diseases in October which is the breast cancer month in Dubai and globally.
Talk to Others with Breast Cancer
It is necessary to understand that you’re never alone in your struggle and the best way to do this is to join a community of other breast cancer patients or survivors. Interacting with other patients can help to calm you and eliminate anxiety, depression, and worrying about the future. Breast cancer diagnosis and treatment can take a toll on your mental and physical health.
You can join breast cancer support groups in your area; this creates a sense of community. It gives you an opportunity to interact, learn how to deal with your situation, and share your experiences. You can find out about these groups by asking your breast care nurse, gynaecologist, or search the internet.
Talk to Your Support System
Your support system includes your family and friends. Having a strong support system will help you to deal with the illness and conquer psychological issues. Knowing you can depend on them strengthens you to keep going. Social support helps to build strong relationships and improve mental health.
Mental health experts emphasize the importance of having a strong support system. Poor social support can lead to loneliness and depression; it also alters brain function and increases depression and other psychological issues.
Leave Your Comfort Zone
Breast cancer might overwhelm you; however, you can change your routine to calm your mind. Stay distracted by doing light exercises like going for walks, taking care of pets, etc. Moderate physical activities improve your emotional, mental, and physical wellbeing. It improves your mood, sleep, and helps to control weight. It’s like a drug-free treatment that takes the sadness that accompanies the diagnosis of breast cancer.
Cancer treatment like chemotherapy and radiation can drain your energy reservoirs. This is because as cancer drugs fight cancer cells, they also attack healthy cells, like red blood cells. This is why most patients develop anaemia which leads to fatigue. Although it seems counterintuitive, physical activities can help to deal with fatigue. You need to talk to your healthcare provider to find out if you can exercise when you can exercise, and what exercises are ideal for you. For instance, you need to take a break from exercise if you’ve recently had surgery.
Breast cancer can take a toll on your mental and physical health; most patients go into depression and emotional distress. It is important to know that you don’t have to deal with this alone. You can join breast cancer communities in your area or talk to your friends and family. It is also necessary to speak to a psychologist if you need psychological help.