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Physiological and Psychological Effects of Cancer

Cancer is, as we know, a life changing experience for both the cancer sufferer, their friends and families. Cancer and cancer treatment both have rather drastic psychological and physiological effects on the sufferer. Knowing of these effects before treatment may give you a head-start and a chance to mentally prepare yourself, just a little, for what is to come. This information may also help you weigh up the odds, on whether you want to go through with treatment or not.

Physiological Effects of Cancer.

Sexual Dysfunction: Some cancer patients and survivors, may experience a level of sexual dysfunction. This can happen to both males and females and there are ways around it.

Chronic Pain: The cancer patient may experience consistent, chronic pain after prolonged cancer treatment.

Infertility: Both male and female patients and survivors may experience infertility.

Constant Fatigue: Patients and survivors may feel like they are constantly tired and do not have the motivation or energy to complete simple, everyday tasks.

Numbness: Numbness is caused by a condition called ‘Neuropathy’. The numbness is most common in the patients hands and feet.

Osteoporosis: Is a condition which causes your bones to become very fragile and weak. Making the cancer patient more susceptible to broken bones and fractures.

Incontinence: Uncontrollable urination is an effect some patients may experience.

Multiple Cancers: It is possible to get a second cancer, other then the one diagnosed for. It is best to find this out through your doctor, as soon as possible.

Hair Loss: Hair loss is common during the treatment of cancer. If this is a problem, consult with your doctor on ways to deal with the hair loss.

Ostomies: An Ostomy is a surgical opening, with a tube connecting to a bag on the outside of the body.

Psychological Effects of Cancer.

Stress: A high level of stress is often attributed to cancer and can be a common side effect.

Low Confidence: Due to the physical and mental changes cancer and cancer treatment can have on the patients, it can often result in low self esteem and confidence.

Depression: Depression is commonly found in cancer patients and survivors. This could be attributed to

the physical effects of the cancer treatment.

If you see any of these side effects in either yourself or a loved one, after surgery, please alert your doctor so that they can give advice on what steps to take next.If you have found out that you have cancer, or someone you know is diagnosed with cancer, try to help them understand fully what they are up against before they have any treatment. Get your doctor to explain everything in detail, the pros and cons and everything in-between so that you can be mentally prepared for what is ahead.

It’s very important for the cancer patient to have a strong network of friends and relatives, to help them to get through the problems that arise with having cancer and chemotherapy.

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