Family Issues after Treatment

When treatment ends, families are often unprepared for the fact that recovery takes time. In general, your recovery will take much longer than your treatment did. Survivors often say that they didn't realize how much time they needed to recover. This can lead to disappointment, worry, and frustration for everyone. Families also may not realize that the way their family works may have changed permanently as a result of cancer. They may need help dealing with the changes and keeping the "new" family strong.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Cancer

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 01/2016 Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder. A person may develop PTSD after experiencing an extremely frightening or life-threatening situation. PTSD is most often associated with traumatic events such as war, sexual and physical attacks, natural disasters, and serious accidents. But it can also affect people with a history of cancer. For example, a recent study found that nearly 1 in 4 women who were newly diagnosed with breast cancer experienced PTSD.

Post-Traumatic Growth and Cancer

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 01/2016 The concept that suffering can be a source of positive personal change has deep roots in many ancient thoughts and traditions. But scientific research trying to explain it is quite new. Studies show that after a traumatic event, reports of personal growth are more common than those of psychiatric disorders.

Feelings and Cancer

Just as cancer affects your physical health, it can bring up a wide range of feelings you’re not used to dealing with. It can also make existing feelings seem more intense. They may change daily, hourly, or even minute to minute. This is true whether you’re currently in treatment, done with treatment, or a friend or family member. These feelings are all normal. Often the values you grew up with affect how you think about and cope with cancer. For example some people:

Distress in People With Cancer

A certain amount of distress is normal when you or a family member has cancer. But some people may be affected more than others. Here we discuss some of the signs that a person may be having trouble dealing with distress, and discuss the types of help that are available. What is distress? Distress is a word that has many meanings. Here, we use “distress” to describe unpleasant feelings that may cause problems as you cope with cancer and its treatment.

Dealing with Emotions: Depression

Feelings of depression are common when patients and family members are coping with cancer. Sadness, anger, grief, and many other feelings are common, too. But when these feelings last a long time or get in the way of day-to-day activities, there is reason for concern.

Dealing With Cancer Recurrence

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 10/2018 A recurrence occurs when the cancer comes back after treatment. This can happen weeks, months, or even years after the primary or original cancer was treated. It is impossible for your doctor to know for sure if the cancer will recur. The chance of recurrence depends on the type of primary cancer. Your doctor can give you more information about your risk of having a recurrence.

Coping With Fear of Recurrence

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 05/2017 Listen to the Cancer.Net Podcast: Coping With Fear of Recurrence adapted from this content. After treatment ends, one of the most common concerns survivors have is that the cancer will come back. The fear of recurrence is very real and entirely normal. Although you cannot control whether the cancer returns, you can control how much the fear of recurrence affects your life.

Dealing with Emotions: Anxiety, Fear, and Depression

Having cancer affects your emotional health A cancer diagnosis can have a huge impact on most patients, families, and caregivers. Feelings of depression, anxiety, and fear are very common and are normal responses to this life-changing experience.

What to Expect When Meeting With a Genetic Counselor

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 04/2018 Cancer genetic counseling involves having a certified genetic counselor help you and your family understand your inherited cancer risk. Inherited cancer risk may be passed from parent to child. A genetic counselor explains available genetic tests and what they mean. He or she can also offer information about cancer screening, prevention, and treatment options and provide support.