Psychological Care of Breast Cancer Patients

Breast cancer is a common malignant disease that endangers women's health. Breast cancer surgery destroys the physical appearance, while reactions to postoperative chemotherapy, often cause the dual physical and psychological barriers to patients.

The psychological course of breast cancer patients

1.Fear of breast cancer. Due to different levels of understanding of malignant tumors, patients often inquire about the information associated with their disease to health care workers and patients suffering from the same disease repeatedly, so they may easily become more and more chaotic.

2.Suspect diagnosis. Most of the patients diagnosed with cancer suspect the possibility of misdiagnosis and have psychological conflicts with emotional stress, and try to find ways to obtain cancer screening and diagnostic methods from various sources.

3.Pessimism and disappointment. Once patients know the existence of cancer, they will undoubtedly be caught up in extreme pessimism and disappointment, depression and cling to indifferent attitude on treatment measures, even with desperate attempts of suicide.

4.Self-contempt. Breast cancer is mostly seen among female patients; usually they worry about husbands’ despise for breast disease or appearance change, especially introverted female patients would endure great pain and discomfort and have unstable mood.

5.Accept the fact and build up a strong desire to survive. After different psychological processes, patients become tranquil and are ready to accept the fact and held a positive attitude for the treatment of breast cancer.

6.Be resistant in both medicines and treatments. After a period of treatment, there would be often a serious response to chemotherapy, thus patients repeatedly get caught up in the depression and lose the confidence in the struggle with the disease. This is extremely unfavorable to treatment.

Stable optimism is the key to obtain the best breast cancer treatment effects, therefore, special set of psychological care measures have been designed for the above psychological diagnosis:

1.Correct understanding of breast cancer and confidence building-up. For the patients who have already known their diseases, we should take the initiative to communicate with patients on disease knowledge, comfort and encourage them, so that patients shall have a correct understanding of breast cancer.

2.Questions raised by patients shall be answered in a careful, scientific and patient manner so that ease patients’ anxieties through a calm and steady attitude and exclude any unfavorable psychological factors to breast cancer treatments.

3.Good analysis work shall be done on the extremely pessimistic disappointed patients; good psychological comfort with the information about breast cancer treatment progress and successful or typical cases shall be well performed, meanwhile, it is also favorable to introduce some patients of the same disease who have obtained good therapeutic effects and have a good emotion status to these patients and promote anti-cancer experience exchange so as to strengthen the confidence of them.

4.The medical staff should be equipped with high degree of compassion and strong sense of responsibility and care about patients with kind words and deeds in a positive and sincere attitude. When patients are in low emotion and make impertinent remarks, the staff shall tolerate this and always be patient, meanwhile, they shall also be full of affection to consciously approach to patients and encourage them to pour out the pain inside.

5.The medical staff should grasp the patient's medical history, treatment methods and psychological changes and explain knowledge about the disease and related drugs to help patients to adapt them to actively cooperate with the treatment.

6.Guarantee the wards are quiet, clean and comfortable, promote good interpersonal relationship among patients, and make patients receive treatment in a relaxed and optimistic environment to avoid various kinds of adverse environmental factors that stimulate patients.

7.Perform psychological nursing designedly as per patients’ actual and different response to chemotherapy; be careful with language communication; explain to the patients about drug-related knowledge and give dietary guidance; train patients with good living habits; all these are helpful for patients’ obtainment of the best therapeutic effects.

*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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