Emotional Coping Strategies for Cancer Survivors

April is National Cancer Control Month, which focuses on the prevention, detection, and treatment of cancer and on efforts to improve the quality of life of the more than 11 million cancer survivors in the United States.

While the physical effects of cancer and cancer treatments are well known, cancer patients also face social and psychological concerns, including coping with feelings related to their diagnosis, adjusting to a new lifestyle and relationships, understanding the financial impact of treatment and fear of cancer recurrence.

These concerns can contribute to disorders that include depression, anxiety and even post-traumatic stress disorder — which all can have a significant impact on health and quality of life.

Mayo Clinic experts are available to discuss the mental health challenges faced by cancer survivors:

  • Matthew Clark, Ph.D., is a psychologist and the principal investigator on a study examining the potential effectiveness of a multidisciplinary intervention to improve quality of life for cancer patients and their family members.
  • Jeff Sloan, Ph.D., has conducted extensive research into the relationship between lung cancer patients' self-reported quality of life and overall survival. Using a quality-of-life assessment tool, Dr. Sloan has found a correlation between overall quality of life, reported at the time of diagnosis, and overall survival.
  • Carrie Thompson, M.D., is a hematologist/oncologist whose research focuses on cancers such as lymphoma and on quality-of-life issues in survivors.

About Mayo Clinic Cancer Center - As a leading institution funded by the National Cancer Institute, Mayo Clinic Cancer Center conducts basic, clinical and population science research, translating discoveries into improved methods for prevention, diagnosis, prognosis and therapy. For information on cancer clinical trials call 507-538-7623.

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