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Anxiety after Gynecologic (GYN) Cancer

From the GYN Cancer Articles List

Woman that has survived cancer, but is now suffering from severe anxiety is wondering if this is normal?I've survived cancer, but now I'm suffering from severe anxiety. Is this normal? How do I deal with it?


The odds have gotten better and better for cancer patients over the last twenty years, especially gynecologic cancer patients. More and more women are fighting and beating it every year. If you are among them, however, you may find yourself fighting another monster—anxiety.

A recent study, which appeared in The Lancet Oncology, reported that anxiety tends to replace depression about two years after diagnosis. Fear of recurrence, of death, of changed relationships and other legitimate fears are generally the source of this anxiety.

To add to it, your spouse or other loved one may be experiencing just as much anxiety. Likewise, if your spouse or loved one is also a cancer survivor, you’re more likely to experience anxiety. The study indicated that women are more likely to have anxiety than men. In all cases, this anxiety can be a problem for at least ten years after diagnosis.

So the question is, how do you manage this anxiety? Support groups, relaxation techniques, counseling, and medication are all ways to treat cancer-related anxiety. Support groups provide a great way to share your own feelings, while helping to support others. Relaxation techniques may include deep breathing, meditation, hypnosis, or yoga. A counselor can provide professional feedback on healthy ways to manage your stress. Medications can help with severe symptoms that you can’t seem to handle on your own.

It is important to be open with your family, close friends, and medical team about your anxiety. If it’s easier, you may consider keeping a journal and letting those you love and trust read it so they have a better idea of what you are going through. The worst thing you could do is bottle up your anxiety. Be open, and seek the help you need to manage your anxiety. There’s no guarantee that you will completely overcome it, but odds are you will see improvements over time.


This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support.

09-23-2013 - 11:29 AM


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