A cancer diagnosis often affects the emotional health of patients, families and caregivers. The current coronavirus outbreak may add even more worry for people with cancer as they try to stay healthy, find and keep up with changing information, and adjust to new work, school, and family routines.
While it’s very important that cancer patients take steps to lower their exposure to coronavirus, they need to take care of their emotional and mental well-being, too.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines well-being as thinking positively, feeling good, and being satisfied with life even though this can feel different for everyone. According to the CDC, higher levels of well-being are linked to a lower risk of disease, illness, and injury, speedier recovery, and a better-functioning immune system.
Feelings and reactions can change frequently in troubling times, and staying positive can help protect your overall health. There are things you can do to help deal with stressful situations and have a good sense of well-being, even if you’re stuck at home. Here are some tips from the National Institutes of Health’s Emotional Wellness Toolkit:
If you feel like you aren’t able to get or stay happy, you may benefit from professional help. Don't hesitate to talk to your cancer care team when you're feeling stress that's hard to handle. Remember that every person is different, and your cancer care team can help you find the best action to take based on your own situation. Support and help are available, including medicines, counseling, or a combination.
The American Cancer Society is here for you. Call us at 1-800-227-2345 if you need help.
Our team is made up of doctors and oncology certified nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as journalists, editors, and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.