Crawling out of the deep hole of cancer depression


– [Narrator] For Bill Howe cancer led him down a deep
hole that went far beyond the physical effects of treatment. Increasingly, healthcare
providers are realizing that there are many mental health issues involved in cancer diagnosis. – There are many issues and problems that patients, and their families, face when they have a diagnosis of cancer. And, they are not all
in the physical realm. The issues and problems can range from transportation issues,
worrying about childcare worrying about taking
care of elder parents to the emotional aspects of having an uncertain future and
uncertain treatments and what the prognosis might mean for both the patient and the family. – In September 2001 I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. The results lead to surgery on that September 28th because the time, of course, was an issue. The physician who did the surgery indicated that he felt
he had gotten it all. And it was the first part of October when I received a telephone call indicating that he termed
it a “positive margin”, which, basically, meant that the cancer had got outside the Prostate and was also in the perineural system which is a good transporter
of cancer cells. After the surgery it was chemotherapy for a few months and then after chemotherapy then we went into hormone therapy. Had a severe reaction to that and we had to drop the hormone therapy then we went into radiation therapy and we completed that and somewhere during that time they also re-instituted
the hormone therapy. The combination of the treatments and the emotional rollercoaster that you ride when this happens to you you get into a… a situation where… you’re very confused, you’re lost, your anger is prevalent… you want answers and you can’t get them. – There are many mental health
issues regarding cancer. In the very beginning often, patients have adjustment issues just related to hearing the diagnosis and trying to figure out what that means. But, like anybody else,
people have history so, often, patients have a history of some mental health problem either substance abuse,
anxiety, depression or other issues and so, when they come into cancer it’s not like a clean slate. The cancer is added onto past problems. – I was talking with the oncology folks at the University of Michigan
that were treating me and they were very supportive and they directed me to Dr. Riba. – At the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center we have a PyschOncology clinic that’s located physically
within the cancer center. We have found that this is a really… good idea for patients to
be able to get their care. Some patients who want to get their care at the time of their clinic appointment who need some acute interventions and can get an appointment almost immediately through our clinic which is located physically
right at the building. We’re able to provide for a full range of individual care, medication management couples and family work as well. – I think I could best equate it to like drawing a map… of an underground cave … without a light. If you were to attempt to do that that’s where we started. And, you know, if you’re down there and you’re trying to draw a
map of an underground cave and you can’t see where you’re going. You don’t if you’re
gonna fall into a cavern. You don’t know if you’re
gonna hit your head. You don’t know if you’re
ever gonna get out. That’s what you start. That’s where you start. – What has really been
very helpful in our field is the development of guidelines for both patients and for clinicians to evaluate distress, D-I-S-T-R-E-S-S at evaluations and follow-up visits for patients and their families and what these distress guidelines are… are ways for us to think about for patients to use a very simple what we call, a distress thermometer it’s from zero to ten and patients check off where they are at during that interview in
terms of their distress. And then they are asked to tell us… with a check off, and then they can fill more in if they want about what their distress might be. – I’m doing better. I think that it has been a long road and it will continue to be a long road.

6 comments

  1. I've got Pancreatic cancer..been hospitalized for depression and suicidal thought 4 or 5 times. I'm an 8 year survivor of a cancer that has a 4% survival rate. I basically try to stay in denial. That's my way of coping. It works as long as pain stays away. Anti-Depressants have been a waste of time with me. I love life, and I dance with it when I can, but sometimes I get so weary. Everyone has their own way of coping…You have to adjust to a new normal, which is not always easy. Good Luck

  2. Thanks Karma,
    Pancreatic cancer is much different than most cancers. If you read about it you'll see "depression" is a major factor, because the Pancreas changes your chemical make up. I spent 4 years post "Whipple" ( a 10 and a half hour surgery) posting on the John Hopkins PC board. All cancer can make you depressed, but PC is different. I tried to give encouragement to people who were looking for hope. Many cancers have a high survival rate, Breast, Prostrate, Testicular, etc.Life is Good

  3. Subscribe
    UMHealthSystem
    March 11, 2008
    (less info)
    Some cancers have a particular effect on emotions: some brain tumors, pancreatic cancer and lung cancer tend to be the most debilitating emotionally. Patients with those types of cancer often have more difficulty with depression and anxiety than patients with other types of cancer. Researchers suspect biochemical factors and the location of the tumor somehow impact the emotions.
    Category: Science & Technology
    Tags: cancer depression

  4. Depression :: Cancer :: Homoeopathy

    Chatterjee Ardhendu Sekhar *

    According to Stedman's Medical Dictionary, DEPRESSION means
    – A temporary mental state or chronic mental disorder characterized by feelings
    of sadness, loneliness, despair, low self-esteem and self-reproach,
    accompanying signs include psychomotor retardation or less frequently
    agitation, withdrawal from social contact, and vegetative states such as loss
    of appetite and insomnia. SYN = dejection (1), Syn= depressive motion,
    depressive syndrome ( L. depression, fr – drprimo – to press down).

    Depression can cause / Introduce Cancer by making
    psychological changes

    From Science Reporter Oct. 1985, No-6 page 344 we came to
    know “Mechanism of Chemically induced cancer , where the writer written
    -“chemical carcinogenesis is a process involving absorption of various
    industrial chemical into body, distribution to various tissue, reversible or
    irreversible reaction with cellular components and finally clearance from the
    tissues and the body via metabolism and/or excretion”. Actually this is the
    following of Prof. Haddow’s lecture Published in the proceedings, Royal Cancer
    Hospital LONDON Vol-44, page-263, where Prof. Haddow had written cancer is the
    “ damage to the chromosome by direct combination with genetic material ,
    followed may be by the generation of a new and self-duplication chemical and
    genetic re-arrangement “

    But the greater part of the population not being effected
    due to the immunological response of the agent, which can cause cancer in same
    individuals has little or non pathogenic to others. Some scientist regards this
    as a manifestation of the presence or absence of certain enzyme(s) playing key
    role in the metabolism of carcinogen

    An Example:- all the direct or indirect smokers inhale
    polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) which is converted in to an active form
    of carcinogen by a specific enzyme called Ary hydrocarbon (P.A.H), which is
    converted into an active form of carcinogen by a specific enzyme called aryl
    hydrocarbon hydroxylase (A.H.H). So the possibility of lung cancer is maximum
    even with the less consumption of smoke who has maximum A.H.H within body.
    Researcher are estimated that certainly depends upon genetic anomaly or some
    short/sort of imbalance in the brain(nervous system ) which results in
    secretion of some hormone responsible for the synthesis of the particular
    enzyme (s). Speculation ,this dysfunction of nervous harmony may be developed
    due to certain psychological distress i. e. depression, melancholia, grief etc

    From long times it was observed that due to certain psychological
    distress the normal function of brain become unbalanced. These, also being
    supported with a good deal of unambiguous literatures on the psychological
    basis of the origin of cancer.

    In second century the Great Greek physician Galen noted that
    woman with depressed disposition succumbing more often to breast cancer than
    those with gay faces, Caroline Bedess (1946) go through an epidemiological
    study of medical students on the disease specially (1) coronary heart disease ,
    (2) hypertension , (3) mental disorder , (4) malignant tumor and suicide within
    low gear people’s and the found surprisingly similarity between psychological
    profile of cancer patients with those who committed suicide.

     D. M. Kissen of the
    university of Glasgow studied the psychology of industrial workers on the habit
    of smoking and established that those who had poor outlet for their emotional
    discharge and lived a mentally repressed life, required fewer cigarettes to
    develop this ubiquitous problems.

     In 1950, William
    Greene, professor of university of Rochester, examined patients of leukemia and
    Hodgkin’s disease and came to the conclusion that the emotional stress (like
    solitary, helpless, hopelessness) forms the basis, 9 out of 10 patients of
    those disease.

     Lawrence Leshan,
    psychologist of New York (1952-1964), screened the case history of all types of
    cancer patients except of blood and lymph and found that the patients of cancer
    were in a life of despair, worthlessness and isolation much before (Sometime as
    long as eight years )the diagnosis of the same.

     Arthur Schmale (1971)
    university of Rochester scrutinized the psychological behavior of 51 woman
    having “Suspicious cell changed” of cervix. tried to predict the cancer of
    breast and reproductive organs, and the bear fact is predict accurately of 36
    of them and finally concluded that hopelessness and recent emotional loss have
    relation with the origin of cancer.

    In 1975 S. Greer and T. Morris of King’s college Hospital
    London had observed that breast cancer patients had inadequate power to cope
    with anger and had to be loved under suppression and occasionally bursting into
    outrage.

    The same also verified by Nicholus Rogentine of National
    Cancer Institute (N.C.I) a great Surgeon, and inference as repression and
    denial is related to poor prognosis of melanoma patients.

     Leonard Derogatis and
    Mastin Abeloff of Johns Hopkins Medical School U.S.A. analyzed the psychology
    of breast cancer and remarked that who were outrageously expressive not only
    towards their desire but also to their doctors lived long than compliant and
    cooperative one

    Klans Bahnson of Eastern Pennsylvania psychiatric Institute
    , maid a theory of “complementary” between somatic and emotional disorder,
    according observation maid on cancer patients and healthy persons. Klaus
    quarried people to assign adjectives to different kinds of neutral sounds and
    resulted the patients of cancer assigned more benign positive adjectives than
    healthy people, that is cancer victims were more prone to repress negative
    emotion, people who are in mental conflict most of the time gain nothing except
    agony of psychosis or cancer in future.

    Bernad Fox (NCI) suggests that the cancer in an
    immunological disease, the immune system in governed more or less by
    hypothalamus, which is under control of nerves. Some part of these nerves are
    known as effectors of emotion, suppression of emotions bring about certain
    electro-physiological and/or biochemical changes which are perceived by the
    hypothalamus. Accordingly in response, it causes stimulation of the immune and
    possibly some other vital systems also. If it progress, they go astray and
    ultimately the immune system itself become immune, to the foreign particles
    (potential carcinogens – likes Bacteria, Virus, chemicals etc.) and is as such
    unable to recognize and destroy them the chromosomal changes begins

    To follow the above I may claim as Homoeopathy deals with
    the Psych-Somatic complication of every individuals whatever he/she sufferers ,
    so only Homoeopathy Can protect the carcinoma from its very begging
    successfully

    [email protected]

  5. I haven’t felt the same way since I got diagnosed with apendix cancer it’s been 7 months took quemó for a couple of months but I stopped because i was feeling worse especially at a young age I also got diagnosed with depression after a couple of weeks after I got diagnosed with cancer honestly sometimes I just want to put a gun in my head and get this over if I feel like a cry for help but no one hears me

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