Cancer Counselling : How It Can Support Your Cancer Treatment
Cancer is something that may impact us directly or indirectly, depending on whether we get diagnosed ourselves or someone in our close circle does. A confirmed cancer diagnosis will bring forth a torrent of feelings, regardless of who is affected.
Sometimes, the feelings can be mixed, making it challenging to sort out these different feelings and emotions. This is why we need the support of friends and family to get through this straining and exhausting time in our lives. Moreover, aside from the love and support from those around us, we should also get the help we need through cancer counselling.
How cancer affects more than the physical body
Cancer is a condition that affects us physically and mentally. Moreover, it could impact our day-to-day lives, such as productivity, hopes and dreams for the future, and many more. How we cope with the cancer recovery may also affect other aspects of life, such as our relationships.
Certain factors may result in a greater risk of developing other common health conditions prevalent among cancer patients. For instance, noticing physical symptoms, like hair or weight loss due to side effects from the treatment, may impact mental or emotional health.
In short, a patient’s mental health may be affected at each stage of the treatment, starting from the diagnosis.
As such, cancer counselling provides the mental health support necessary to get through the numerous mental health challenges a patient may face during cancer management in Singapore, such as:
- A sense of loss
- Overwhelming fear and worry
- Stress and anxiety
The supportive role of counselling in cancer treatment
Accepting the reality of a positive cancer diagnosis may often be difficult for an individual and their loved ones.
However, we do not need to bear our issues alone, since there are professionals who can help us through this tough time, such as a therapist.
Counsellors, especially those trained in cancer counselling, are highly proficient and experienced individuals that help people diagnosed with cancer confront and process the myriad of emotional issues that may stem from the ongoing cancer issue.
This talk therapy, also known as psychotherapy, gets patients to express their true thoughts to an empathetic professional and feel some relief from having some guidance in managing and navigating their emotions and fears.
Although counselling will not directly cure cancer, the coping strategies provided could prove invaluable for dealing with any mental health problems that may arise during and after treatment. Given how everyone is different and their reactions to cancer may vary, some may describe their feelings as mild or intense.
Even if we do not need someone to talk to, counselling can still be helpful since caring for someone with cancer or living with a diagnosis may be a challenge. Hence, these counselling sessions may also enlighten or make us feel more confident to face the upcoming challenges.
What to look for in a cancer counsellor or psychotherapist
Currently, there are no official criteria that stipulates what level of training is required for a counsellor to deal with the needs of a cancer patient or survivor. It is up to the individual to do thorough research and check whether a therapist has experience in this area before seeking their help.
Another method of checking if a therapist has undergone special training is to check if they are part of a relevant professional organisation representing counsellors who deal with cancer.
Since cancer affects everyone around the diagnosed patient as well, it’s advised for the family to accompany the patient to their counselling sessions as moral support. If the patient prefers to be in the session alone, the family should wait outside.
Alternatively, the diagnosed patient can choose to join a support group comprised of other cancer patients.
Cancer is a long-term condition that can impact the individual diagnosed and their loved ones. Without ample support from friends and family or a professional like a psychotherapist, coping with the condition may be mentally overwhelming and further degrade a patient’s health.
Although cancer is potentially life-threatening, advancements in medicine now work well to combat the disease, especially if detected early. Thus, to get a better chance at fighting cancer, consider taking a cancer screening test in Singapore.
Aside from advanced screening tests, International Cancer Specialists has taken a holistic approach to cancer treatment. We believe that since general cancer treatment only affects the physical body, it is crucial to get help for one’s mental health and well-being.
In response, we also started providing holistic-based approaches, such as personalised nutrition and counselling to help patients and their families cope with this situation.
As an established cancer treatment centre in Singapore, we are always available to offer a helping hand regarding cancer through screening tests, treatments, and more.
Becky. (n.d.). Feelings and cancer. National Cancer Institute. Retrieved March 4, 2022, from https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/coping/feelings
Cancer. Counselling Directory. (n.d.). Retrieved March 4, 2022, from https://www.counselling-directory.org.uk/cancer.html#supportingalovedone
How counselling can help. Cancer Research UK. (2019, September 24). Retrieved March 8, 2022, from https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/coping/emotionally/talking-about-cancer/counselling/how-counselling-can-help