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How to Minimize Anxiety During Doctor Visits and Cancer Treatment

Participation in doctor appointments and treatments for cancer can feel just as difficult and nerve-wracking as cancer itself. It’s easy for patients to become anxious. But just as every problem has a solution, it is possible to remove stress during cancer treatment.

Understanding Anxiety

Before reducing anxiety in cancer treatment, it is important to learn about anxiety itself and the effect it takes on a patient’s body and mind. Anxiety in response to cancer treatment is caused by a variety of feelings, most of them based on fear and anticipation. Some of these feelings include:

  • Pain over treatment or treatment side effects
  • Fear of losing independence
  • Worry about a change in relationships
  • Concern over cancer returning or spreading
  • Uncertainty and death

These symptoms and feelings can vary from person to person. No one reacts to these situations in the same manner. The symptoms of anxiety can also fluctuate, usually increasing when doctor visits or treatments are rapidly approaching. The patient must find a way to treat anxiety, or else it can interfere with their recovery process.

Reduce Anxiety Cancer Treatment

Symptoms of Anxiety

Anxiety manifests itself through various symptoms. These symptoms affect the patient both mentally and physically and have different duration periods. These symptoms fall into the categories of acute and chronic.

Acute Anxiety Symptoms

The following acute anxiety symptoms are experienced over a short time period and often. These effects include:

  • Chest pain
  • Chills
  • Sweating
  • Trembling
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Abdominal pain
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea, diarrhea, or other intestinal issues
  • Intense fears and dread
  • Irregular heart activity
  • Detachment from oneself or one’s surroundings
  • High blood pressure

A panic attack is when a patient experiences all these symptoms at the same time.

Chronic Anxiety Symptoms

The following chronic anxiety symptoms last for longer periods of time. They include:

  • Indecision
  • Insomnia or irregular sleeping patterns
  • Restlessness
  • Intense worrying
  • Muscle tension
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability or other mood disorders

Patients may also experience some of these symptoms along with acute symptoms.

Self-Assessment

The patient can identify and assess the following sources of stress before dealing with the condition.

  • History of anxiety or panic
  • Hereditary factors
  • Unrelieved physical pain
  • Use of alcohol and drugs
  • Treatment effects
  • History of diabetes or hyperthyroidism
  • Persistent change in ability to handle stress
  • Lack of information or control

5 Quick Tips to Remove Anxiety from Cancer Treatments

The following tips are designed to reduce anxiety during doctor’s appointments and cancer treatments. Most of these tips focus on lessening the burdens of their current lives or keeping them busy between appointments.

Find a Happy Place

The patient can find solace in their favorite hobbies and activities. Keeping busy with enjoyable diversions reduces the stress of the upcoming treatments and the uncertainty that plague them. Reduce anxiety during cancer treatments by:

  • Socializing with friends
  • Watching movies or television
  • Dining out
  • Shopping
  • Listening to music

Practice Healthy Activities

Healthy physical activities can relax the mind of the patient and even improve the body as well. Of course, these following activities will require a doctor’s approval before moving forward:

  • Physical exercise or sports
  • Yoga or tai chi
  • Acupuncture
  • Meditation

Keep a Journal

A patient writing out their feelings and conditions on a journal or diary is potentially therapeutic. This is also a practical method for the patient to keep track of and manage their anxiety and the associated symptoms.

Share Experiences with Others

Dealing with cancer-related anxiety can feel like a lonely endeavor. In order to reduce the stress of that loneliness, a patient can befriend another patient going through the same ordeal. Sharing the experiences allows patients to keep their minds off their troubles, while also helping someone else.

Seek Counseling

In severe cases of anxiety, the doctor may recommend that the patient seek help from a counselor. Professional help is important, especially when anxiety and stress can seriously affect cancer treatments. Some forms of therapy include:

  • Psychotherapy
  • Group or family therapy
  • Self-help groups
  • Hypnosis

Cancer Treatment Help at Synergy Lifestyle Medicine

One final factor that can alleviate anxiety is trust. Reliable cancer treatment goes a long way to ease worries about procedures and therapy. Synergy Lifestyle Medicine is a resource for cancer treatment that is rooted in wellness practices for optimal outcomes.

Meet the Synergy Team

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