Does breast cancer causes anxiety?


Does breast cancer causes anxiety?


Anxiety is a common emotion to experience in response to receiving a breast cancer diagnosis and receiving breast cancer treatment.

Anxiety may be a common experience in life. Any number of things, such as a change in living conditions, an impending deadline, or public speaking, might make someone uncomfortable. In response to a breast cancer diagnosis and breast cancer therapy, anxiety can also be a common emotion.

Anxiety can be brought on by breast cancer at various times:

  • ·  following the first diagnosis (receiving the news, going for additional tests and imaging, telling family and friends, and putting together a treatment plan)
  • ·  during therapy (wondering how well or fast treatments may work and worried about any side effects)
  • ·   after treatment (fearing a potential recurrence, feeling uneasy that your cancer care team isn't monitoring you as closely, and feeling anxious about follow-up imaging)

Anxiety can be brought on by concerns about the necessity for continued therapy as well as uncertainty about how long treatment may be able to keep cancer under control in cases of metastatic breast cancer or breast cancer that has returned (recurrence).

Anxiety symptoms usually subside after the cause disappears. However, anxiety can occasionally escalate to a point where it starts to negatively impact a person's quality of life. Anxiety is regarded as an anxiety disorder when it doesn't go away.

Anxiety disorder symptoms might include:

  • ·       having difficulty falling and staying asleep (insomnia)
  • ·       minimal energy
  • ·       reduced appetite
  • ·       an incapacity to pay attention
  • ·       absence of interest in routine daily activities
  • ·       feeling anxious, tense, or unable to stop thinking the majority of the time

Additionally, bodily signs of anxiety include:

  • ·       sweating
  • ·       nausea
  • ·       a chest ache
  • ·       higher heart rate (palpitations)
  • ·       breathing difficulty
  • ·       constipation or diarrhea
  • ·       headaches
  • ·       mouth ache
  • ·       trembling or swaying
  • ·       dizziness or faintness
  • ·       muscular tension or arching
  • ·       (Sudden, overwhelming emotions of anxiety) panic attacks

Because of the following adverse effects, several cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy, painkillers, steroids, and hormone therapies, can continue to induce, 

  • Anxiety.
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Joints hurt
  • Nerve pain
  • Hormone adjustments

Additionally, there are a few things that could make you more anxious, like:

  • ·    a history of anxiety or depression in oneself or one's family
  • ·    a diagnosis of triple-negative breast cancer or metastatic breast cancer
  • ·    not having a strong network of relatives and friends to lean on
  • ·    financial hardships
  • ·    other health issues besides breast cancer
  • ·  needing to manage numerous challenging circumstances at once (worrying about infertility, money, or having to take time off work)

Controlling anxiety

It's vital to discuss your concerns with your cancer care team if you have persistent, significant anxiety that interferes with your daily life. If one of your cancer therapies is causing you to feel worried, your cancer care team can identify it and determine whether switching to a different treatment is an option. Your cancer care team can also suggest therapies for side effects including menopausal symptoms like hot flashes, lethargy, and sleeplessness that can lessen anxiety.

You might also want to request a recommendation from your cancer care team for a qualified mental health specialist with experience treating cancer patients. Numerous cancer centers have psychiatric, psychological, psycho therapeutic, or counselling staff members or can connect you to facilities in your area. Some cancer programs and hospitals also include classes on relaxation methods like meditation or mindfulness that may be able to help you manage anxiety.

Some of the techniques for reducing anxiety are:

  • ·   deep inhalation
  • ·   utilizing mindfulness to reduce stress
  • ·  techniques for calming the mind and body, such as progressive muscle relaxation and grounding
  • ·    individual therapy (also known as behavioral or talk therapy)

    Anti-anxiety medications including Xanax, Niravam (alprazolam), Valium (diazepam), Ativan (lorazepam), Librium (chlordiazepoxide), and Klonopin are available over the counter (chemical name: clonazepam)

·    Effexor FR (chemical name: venlafaxine), Lexapro (chemical name: escitalopram), Celexa (chemical name: citalopram), Zoloft (chemical name: sertraline), Cymbalta (chemical name: duloxetine), and Pristiq are examples of antidepressant medications (chemical name: desvenlafaxine).

Paxil, Wellbutrin, Prozac, Cymbalta, and Zoloft are just a few of the antidepressants that may hinder the body from converting tamoxifen into its active form, limiting users from reaping the full benefits. It's critical to ask your doctor which antidepressants are risk-free for you if you're on tamoxifen.

Together, you and your doctor can determine which medication reduces anxiety while having the fewest adverse effects. Usually, you start out with a lesser dose and gradually increase it until your symptoms go better while following your doctor's instructions. Since there is a chance of addiction to anti-anxiety medications, doctors only recommend them for short-term use. Antidepressants are typically prescribed for extended periods of time by doctors because it can take up to six weeks for symptoms to improve. Although medical professionals do not view antidepressants as addictive in the conventional sense, it is nonetheless possible to develop a dependence on them.

You can meet others who can discuss strategies for reducing anxiety through support groups, one-on-one peer help, or Virtual Community Meetups.

In addition, the following complementary therapies have been demonstrated to reduce anxiety, stress, fear, and melancholy:

  • ·       acupuncture
  • ·       aromatherapy
  • ·       chiropractic treatment
  • ·       guided imagery
  • ·       hypnosis
  • ·       medicinal marijuana
  • ·       massage
  • ·       meditation
  • ·       gradual muscular relaxation
  • ·       music
  • ·       shiatsu
  • ·       reiki
  • ·       spirituality and prayer
  • ·       yoga
  • ·       tai chi

These complementary therapies might need a practitioner.

Coping mechanisms for anxiety

Combining therapies, such as individual counselling, medication, and complementary therapy can be an effective strategy to alleviate anxiety for certain people. Being patient with yourself is crucial. Finding the methods that work best for you can take some time.

Some people find the following techniques useful for dealing with mild to moderate anxiety:

  • ·    being physically active every day, such as going for daily walks of 30 minutes
  • ·    avoiding caffeine and alcohol
  • ·   keeping as much of your regular schedule as possible, including mealtimes, bedtimes, and daily activities
  • ·    if organised religion is or has been a part of your life, engaging in religious or spiritual rituals.

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