How to Manage Stress and Anxiety During Cancer Treatment

Managing stress when you have cancerCancer comes with significant stress and anxiety for patients and their loved ones, which can make managing treatment even more difficult. Recently, Karen Fasciano, PsyD, clinical psychiatrist at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center, joined four patients to discuss their experiences.

“Often when we tell ourselves we can’t feel anxious, the anxiety gets bigger,” said Fasciano, who provides individual counseling to patients through her role as director of Dana-Farber’s Young Adult Program. “It’s important to recognize when you’re feeling anxious and where it’s coming from.”

Kat Caverly (@KatCaverly), Noel Dawes (@NoelDawes), Chris Gazarian (@ChrisGaz), and Carolyn Ridge (@cr1682) joined Fasciano for the Google+ Hangout. The panelists discussed how they coped emotionally with their cancer diagnoses, and shared tips for negotiating their own anxiety with that of their caregivers and loved ones.

“In a situation where you have so little control, remembering what you do have control over helps you feel a little stronger and more ready to face your fears,” said Gazarian, an acute lymphoblastic leukemia patient who spoke about the anxiety surrounding his stem cell transplant. “For me, it was about telling myself that it’s a completely legitimate fear, but I’m going to make the decision to go ahead with this treatment and take it one day at a time. That empowered me enough to feel like I had some control.”

Watch the full Hangout below: