Cancer reccurrence is when the same cancer comes back over a period of time because some cells from your cancer remained. Cancer can recur in the same place it did last time, near the place it was or in a completely new area.
Coping with the fear of recurrence
Living with the fear of a your cancer recurring is a very real and normal fear to have. Worrying about cancer coming back is usually most intense the first year after treatment. This worry usually gets better over time but for some it remains a constant challenge many years after treatment.
Don’t ignore your feelings. Many people try to hide or ignore feelings like fear and anxiety, this then results in your feelings escalating and becoming more overwhelming. Talk about your feelings with a trusted friend, family member, your healthcare team and/or counselling professional.
Many cancer survivors find joining a support group to be helpful as the group experience often helps survivors feel more understood. Support groups offer the chance to share feelings and fears with others who understand. They also allow you to exchange practical information and helpful suggestions.
The Marie Keating Foundation’s Survive and Thrive workshops and seminars help men and women who have finished cancer treatment to adapt to the ‘new normal.’ Both the workshops and the seminars include advice from experts on issues that cancer survivors often face including: coping with emotions; fatigue and other symptoms; changing nutritional needs; coping with feelings and change; managing stress and physical activity. All courses and seminars are free to attend but places are limited and registration is essential. Top find out when the next Survive and Thrive course is on call 01 628 3726 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sometimes you may need extra help in dealing with these worries and fears. The following feelings may indicate more serious anxiety or depression. If you are concerned about any of the following, talk with your health care team and get in touch with a cancer support counselor in your area.
- Intense worry or anxiety that gets in the way of daily activities
- Feeling hopeless about the future
- Having trouble sleeping
- Feeling that you have nothing to look forward to
Go back to looking after your mental health.