The 4th February, 2019 World Cancer Day, which many of them will be affected, will remember exactly where they were told they had a tumor. Easy to face cancer diagnosis is not easy. For most people they have a very traumatic and important episode of the medical perspective in their lives, and the news stimulates such emotional growth that & # 39; r doctors check that the patient it does not even keep half the information provided from that moment.
The feeling of threat bags, blocks, and from there the reactions are embedded between denial ("It can not be") and fear ("Do I die? "), Followed by rescuing suspicions and concerns which dominates thinking. So, 14 people spend only one hour in Argentina, where the causes of the disease are median compared to the world level.
Experts say, after this first step of denying and blocking, the complexity, acceptance, and search for solutions and treatments to come forward, is when the patient raises questions about their cause. Here are the most common questions, and how to face it.
Is it serious? Am I going to die?
"Cancer is associated with a very negative prognosis and a Today more than 60% of malign tumors are being improved, and those who do not improve a good part of those affected survive the disease for a long time, even die for other non-cancer-related reasons, "he said Josep Tabernero, president of the European Association of Medical Oncology (ESMO).
Tania Estapé, who is responsible for the Psycho-oncology and Spanish Fefoc Fundació service, indicates that people assimilate cancer to threaten their physical and mental integrity about their everyday lives, and after the generic fear This first of death, there are more specific fears too depending on the personal conditions of each one, where it usually picks up if you have little children.
"The person suddenly feels a strong sense of vulnerability, of the vulnerability of life, which creates uncertainty and, in many cases, causes difficulties in making plans, moving on, and in some of & # 39; these things do not happen to disappear completely or after years after improvement ", describe the psychologist.
Mammography Early diagnosis is key.
Jaume Martínez, a clinical psychologist who has integrated into the Oncology service at the Hebron Vall Hospital in Barcelona, explains that people who are speechless are not afraid of dead, but they are # 39; n fear of pain, or suffer because their loved ones suffer or have treatment.
I'm looking for another doctor? Do I request a second opinion?
"We recommend it for several reasons: because everyone has the right to have another assessment and maybe other treatment options and also because fear is not a good cohesion for decision making," said Estapé.
And it's clear that looking for a second opinion allow time gain so that the emotional voltage of the first moment passes and reduces the risk of short-term radical treatment decisions or makes legal, family or work changes that unfortunately can be later.
Tabernero ensures that the doctors themselves favor the consultation of another specialist so that the person becomes aware of their illness, especially when it comes to cases that need urgent treatment and the person is weighed or do not believe & diagnose. And I agree with Estapé that the emergency does not always start the first treatment, and sometimes assigning extra time to the diagnosis helps later what evolution more favorable because "The most important strategy is to define the type of cancer and plan how to treat".
Does my cure depend on my medical center?
Tabernero, who is also the director of the Vall of Hebron Institute of Oncology in Barcelona, believes that more than one hospital or other is the important thing Consult professionals with extensive experience in the tumor that person has, because each tumor is different in its behavior and the most appropriate type of treatment.
"If you have a very common cancer, it's easy to find experts who know the latest developments in any hospital, but if you have less frequent tumors such as sarcomas, brain or thyroid tumors, & # 39 better refer to experts who treat mass critics of patients are important enough to be up-to-date and concentrate on that disease, "he advises.
And he notes that if you do not have any member of the medical family, the best thing is Ask for help from the GP to find the best specialist for that particular disease, after you have a true diagnosis of the type of cancer.
Do you tell me on the Internet?
Many cancer patients feel that their oncologist does not provide enough information to explain all their doubts and that's why they're going to Dr. Google. But on the Internet, so much information about this disease is that it is easy to feel lost and uncertain, "and that many of the resulting effects have a negative impact on the perception of cancer and contribute to the increase of seudotherapies, "explains Vicente Guillem, president of the Foundation Excellence and Quality of Oncology.
Estapé says that It is impossible to prevent patients and their families from searching the Internet because they feel that something needs to be done, to look for answers, so doctors should tell them which websites to find real information, to avoid making them rely on recommendations without scientific rigor. However, seven out of ten cancer patients say their oncologist did not provide reliable sources of information, according to data from the ECO Foundation.
Tabernero believes that the complementary information can help the patient know his or her illness, and to take it better, to be more positive with the treatment, although he admits that there are always 10% of people who do not want to know more, that the information faces them. It is advisable to ask your doctor for the most appropriate pages, but from the beginning it suggests some of the European Association (ESMO) and America (ASCO) oncology ), and NCI (American Cancer Institute, with Spanish information) and the National Cancer Network Comprehensive School (NCCN), which brings together 28 cancer centers in the United States and offers clinical guidelines for professionals and patients.
Will I be able to live a normal life? Do I give the best work?
The diagnosis of cancer, as well as the introduction of an emotional earthquake, places the person in an exceptional state of health. effects on their families and their working environment. From the medical perspective, Tabernero says that "it is important to have enough time and encouragement to be committed to the disease, and that priority should be given, but it must We also try it out Do not cut into everyday life because you're going on and looking for our goals and goals in life, helping to be happy and have a spirit of fighting. "And he notes that toxic cancer treatments have dropped and most are compatible with normal" pretty "life.
Developments in diagnostic methods and treatments lead to improvements in the survival of many types of cancer.
Psychologists say that changing or not working, continuing or working depends on each person, their circumstances, the type of work and also the evolution of the disease and the type of treatment.
"There are people who want to continue working because it helps them to normalize the situation; others use it as a defense or refusal, to show that they are good, they control the disease and & Treatment, based on work and company it will be easier for them to continue or not"Martinez said.
Estapé thinks that it is wise for the patient to lead a more or less normal life, because this is the best way to feel, but every person must choose, because someone is in a position; causing cancer to reflect on their lives, to see their work was not done. positively, and decides to change his course.
Should I explain it? And the plant?
Common concern is how to tackle the disease with people of the environment in case of worrying. In fact, according to data from the Spanish Society Against Cancer (AECC), the level of discomfort and emotional distress expressed by relatives of people with cancer is higher than what patients have expressed ( 7.5 against 6.9). .
Experts explain that there's no single recipe, because people are unintentionally and estroverted, so each one has to decide what, when and how he talks about his illness, although it is shown that people who feel they have social support and a good family adapts better.
What should be taken into account, says psychologists is that, if the patient does not say he will have to take the disease alone, that is not easy and leads to isolation. But you should know that, if you say that, you can not avoid some comments that you do not like. They also note that, in the case of infants, It is always better to accept information that is affected and you will not be aware of third party comments. And they advise to talk to teachers about changes in their behavior at school.
Is it my fault? Is he inherited?
In some cases, especially in the case of lung cancer and when the person smokes, the patient a sense of guilt supports it, or it finds that the family blames it. "As we believe we're all in control, when something escapes the easiest thing, we blame it for that", justifies Estapé. And it also adds that concerns are also being created at a family level in cases where cancer has a genetic element.
The guardian says that all tumors are genetic origin, but only between 5% and 8% they have some non-elemental element. "And when that's the case, we are making a special diagnosis to reveal if there is a gene to change and see how we can diagnose that risk early to others," is ensure the oncologist.
Am I looking for a psychological help?
There is an option to consider when necessary. Tabernero explained that "the logical thing is that the fear and the initial difficulty evolve towards admission and then to the proactive phase of the disease". But sometimes this does not happen "and then good psychological support is fundamental", which facilitates much.
From the Spanish Society against Cancer, make sure that there is a reaction of anger, anger, anxiety, sadness, and in 30% of cases affected or family members develop some type of work after the diagnosis, and especially during the treatment period. disorder that would require specialist treatment.
"Cancer is a health problem, but sometimes its diagnosis reveals other parts of that person's life, disagrees with the columns that he set up," said psychologist Jaume Martinez, although he says that he does not need for everyone to see a specialist.
However, Tania Estapé thinks he's going to a first-class psychology support workshop help the person to know what to expect, to get equipment to talk to your partner or children, what you will have to deal with and how you can do it. However, it is said that both will consult with the psychologist and interact with other people with a disease that benefit more or less depending on each person.
Source: La Vanguardia