Cancer is not only a physical disease but also affects mental health. Emotional health often undergoes significant changes when individuals are diagnosed with cancer. It’s common for cancer patients, as well as their friends and family, to experience feelings of depression, anxiety, and fear. Despite these challenges, hope and effective cancer treatment options are available. Maintaining mental strength is crucial during these hard times.

It is better to diagnose cancer earlier at stage one instead of later or stage four. Similarly, early intervention for mental health conditions yields better outcomes. Unfortunately, mental health is often ignored when people struggle with cancer. Nowadays, most of the cancer chemotherapy centers in Coimbatore prioritize mental health along with physical treatment. Thus, in this article, you can find the importance of mental health during cancer treatment.

The connection between cancer and mental health.

Anxiety and depression are widespread among cancer patients, regardless of the treatment stage. These emotional struggles can range from general concerns and feelings of uncertainty to more specific mental health disorders.

The research says that according to the ICD-10 standard,  35-40% of cancer patients meet the criteria for a diagnosable psychiatric disorder. This alert statistic highlights the importance of mental health care during cancer treatment, as these conditions can significantly diminish the quality of life and increase healthcare costs.

How does cancer affect the mental health of patients?

The emotional well-being of cancer patients often deteriorates following a diagnosis. However, the impact can vary among individuals. The symptoms associated with cancer such as fatigue, insomnia, and loss of appetite, often overlap with those of mental health disorders, making accurate diagnosis challenging.

Many cancer treatment teams lack specialized training to identify and address mental health issues correctly. Furthermore, the time and financial demands of cancer treatment often lead patients to neglect mental health.

Some patients have reported various psychological struggles post-diagnosis, including:

  • Recurrence of past trauma or mental illness symptoms
  • Increase of constant stress or panic
  • Worsening feelings of hopelessness
  • Social isolation or relapse into addiction
  • Lack of support system
  • Treatment related issues
  • Deterioration of self-esteem
  • Impact on body image and sleep quality

Importance of mental health during cancer treatment:

  • It is imperative to consult with healthcare providers or oncologists about mental health treatment options, such as counseling, medication, and therapy. Addressing symptoms of anxiety and depression proactively can immensely benefit both patients and their families.
  • Exploring innovative methods of stress management and building mental resilience is an essential aspect of coping with the emotional challenges of cancer. To stay away from worries and anxiety, educate yourself about your diagnosis and treatment options. Also, you can maintain open communication with your healthcare team.
  • Counseling is an essential component of cancer care as mental and physical health are deeply intertwined. Ignoring psychological distress can lead to severe consequences, including suicidal thoughts and a range of disorders related to anxiety, depression, and adjustment. These can further impact body image, self-esteem, and sleep quality.
  • Developing psychological resilience is crucial for patients as it can improve their long-term prognosis. Cancer lymphedema treatment, for instance, has seen an increase and also requires mental health support. Oncologists aim to treat not just the physical symptoms of lymphedema but also its emotional and psychological impacts, striving to restore functionality, avoid complications, and empower patients.
  • Patients can connect with others who have similar circumstances in support groups, share their feelings, and receive peer support and encouragement. Furthermore, during cancer treatment, alternative therapies like yoga, meditation, and art therapy may help in lowering stress, elevating psychological state, and encouraging relaxation.
  • As previously mentioned, mental health significantly impacts cancer treatment outcomes. Studies show that individuals suffering from severe mental health issues, dementia, or substance abuse tend to have lower survival rates post-cancer diagnosis. These individuals are less likely to follow treatment plans, often missing therapy sessions, neglecting exercise, and consuming excessive alcohol.
  • Cancer diagnosis and treatment can be challenging however, it can also be a second-chance for positive change, despite the struggles. Patients may reflect on their main concerns and standards, leading them to realize that their private lives and lifestyles may need to undergo changes, potentially for the better.


The importance of mental health is a critical aspect of cancer care. The quality of life and resilience of cancer patients may improve with the help of coping strategies, therapy, and counseling.

Cancer patients can navigate complex emotions and cultivate the emotional silence necessary for successful treatment by using effective strategies, cultivating supportive relationships, seeking professional assistance, and engaging in personal development.

Therefore, it’s critical to prioritize mental health when receiving cancer treatment. The cancer centers need to address both physical and mental health needs which ensures patients receive the holistic care, facilitating their transition to true survivors.