To tell or to hide the diagnosis of cancers

When a family member is diagnosed with cancer, it becomes a dilemma of most family members whether to tell the patient the truth or to conceal from them with a lie.

Experts from Modern Cancer Hospital Guangzhou point out that it is not proper to generalize whether we should tell the truth or not. For patients with strong will, when hearing that they have cancer, they are able to brighten themselves up and fight back. As a result, they create miracles, which are often seen in clinical. Once there was a mother with mid-late stage cancer. With responsibility to take care of her one year old daughter, she determined to follow the doctors’ treatment and persisted in fighting against cancer. Eventually, she had her life prolonged for almost ten years. Patients with strong will and well cooperating with doctor’s treatment will have the cancer well controlled. On the contrary, no matter what medicine is used, patients will not be able to gain good treatment effect if they are depressive and lack of confidence.

Do patients want to know their own condition?

Study has proved that 80% of patients are willing to know the truth. Once cancer is diagnosed, doctors should tell the patients about their condition and the treatment options as well. Patients should present in the discussion of their condition with their spouse and other family members. This is very important. If the patient is told with a diagnosis result different from that told to their family members, they will distrust the doctor’s treatment, medicine and their family some day. As a result, anxiety and misunderstanding will come up and treatment effect will be affected.

Then, what mental support should be given to cancer patients after they are told with the truth.

1. Correct their notion that cancer equals to death, which strongly affects patient’s reaction.

Nowadays, as medical science is developed, most cancer patients can have their cancers effectively controlled and survive with cancer in the body. Believing in this conception, patients will be able to eliminate severe depressive reaction caused by cancer.

2. Directly face cancers and do not miss the time for treatment: to gain a good treatment effect, patients should face the truth of having cancer and follow doctor’s suggestion to go to cancer specialized hospital for regular treatment and avoid missing the treatment time.

3. Prepare for a long-term battle fighting with cancer: treatment for cancers is not only removal of the tumor. It is a slow process. Patients should be well prepared for a long-term coexistence with cancer.

4. Pay attention to the toxic side-effect: such as nausea, vomiting, hair loss, etc. which usually cause painful experience to patients. For cancer in the face and breast can change the appearance and sexual character, it may cause special psychological problems

5. Joint the anti-cancer club: club members can give emotional and psychological support to each other. In the club, patients can heal each other by talking and telling each other that they can still determine their life style and quality even though they have cancers

Study proved that cancer patients with some of below psychological behaviors will have an obviously longer survival time.

A. Always have hope and confidence

B. Can express or release the negative emotion

C. Can actively take part in meaningful and happy activities

D. Maintain close relationship with the people around

On the contrary, negative psychological behaviors can always accelerate the process of cancer deterioration

*Surgery, in addition to the appropriate chemotherapy and radiotherapy, are effective in treating early cancer, but certain patients in late stage of cancer may not be tolerate surgery well as they can be relatively weak. A combination of carefully planned minimally invasive therapy, chemotherapy or radiotherapy can effectively reduce the side effects and discomfort of treatment and may help patient get better efficacy.

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