Dealing with the fears of recurrence is one of the most difficult challenges cancer patients face, says Dr. Richard Frank in a recent WebMD Experts Blog post. Whether a person is living with an active cancer or has been told they are “cancer- free,” the possibility of the cancer returning or reactivating is very real.
In the blog, Dr. Frank shares his experience with patients, as well as friends and family members with cancer, seeking reassurance from doctors and other health care professionals that “things are well and that hopefully they will continue to be well.” However, there can never be any guarantees and often, fears will creep in days or hours before the next checkup.
Joining a support group led by health care professionals or connecting with other survivors in the community are some of the recommendations Dr. Frank makes for coping with fear and anxiety during and after cancer. Many cancer centers have counselors that specialize in dealing with the psychosocial aspects that accompany life after cancer.