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Mental Health and Cancer

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Mental Health and Cancer

Mental Health and Cancer

When someone hears the word ‘cancer’, it changes their lives forever. Many people think that it could never happen to them, until it does. It takes a while for most people to process and come to terms with a cancer diagnosis. Many cancer patients are concerned about surviving, their families, income, and healthcare; but they don’t consider their mental health. October 10th is celebrated as World Mental Health Day. At CCH, we want to remind our community that when it comes to cancer, it’s okay not to be okay.


When someone is given a cancer diagnosis, it can lead to anxiety and depression. Worrying thoughts might keep them up at night. Medications may change their appearance and eating habits. With certain treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation, it can leave a patient very sick for days after treatment. Some patients are unable to work or do normal daily activities. With life changing this drastically, it is normal to have feelings of resentment and anger, or even sadness and nostalgia for their old life.


Sometimes it is difficult for someone with cancer to even notice that their mental health has taken a decline. The symptoms of cancer such as lack of sleep, fatigue, appetite changes, and weight loss are also some of the same symptoms as depression. It might be helpful to ask your healthcare provider for a mental health screening to see if your symptoms may be caused by cancer or depression. Family also plays a large role in someone’s mental health while having cancer. Most family members are very supportive and want to walk with you while you fight cancer. However, the pressure to continue fighting and being strong can also leave feelings of guilt when the patient thinks about giving up. Having cancer is very emotional as your body is turning against you. When fighting cancer, mental health is just as important as your physical health.


It is paramount to address your mental health with cancer because it can improve your survival rate. According to Mental Health America, cancer patients with better mental health had higher survival rates than those who were struggling with mental health. Depression, and other mental health disorders are completely treatable. Instead of struggling, seek out help and start feeling like you again.


If you are struggling with mental health while having cancer, please contact the Heptner Cancer Center at 307-688-1900. CCH's Cancer Care team is here for you and your family; to walk beside you.


“Cancer and Mental Health.” Mental Health America,

Ferrara, Nicole. “Cancer and Mental Health: Coping with the Burden of Your Diagnosis.” Mayo Clinic Comprehensive Cancer Center Blog, 12 May 2022,

  • Category: Cancer Treatment