As reported by Cancer Research UK, new data highlights the stark realities of cancer. The survey asked 1,015 adults in the UK that had ever been diagnosed with cancer at some point about their personal experiences with cancer and how they overcame them.
The new data reveals that almost three in 10 (29%) cancer patients surveyed have experienced mental health issues such as anxiety and depression, while one in ten (11%) respondents have sought advice from a mental health professional.
The survey, also reveals that the most significant change experienced when going through cancer treatment is how it affects energy levels, with over half (57%) of cancer patients experiencing this effect.
Because of this, those who had experienced such changes needed to adapt their lifestyles with 53% of respondents saying that they needed extra time to do everyday tasks such as chores and 41% saying they needed to get more sleep.
In addition to hair loss, other physical changes were skin becoming drier and itchier, 27% of respondents cited this.
Other changes that respondents experienced included changes to their toilet habits (37%) changes to their weight (37%) and to their sexual libido (35%).
With regards to changes in personal relationships after being diagnosed with cancer, 48% said that their relationship with their family and friends had improved, while 45% said there was no difference. However, 6% said their cancer diagnosis had a negative impact on their closest personal relationships.
When asked how their loved ones could best help someone who was undergoing cancer treatment, 73% of respondents said that simply spending time together would be the most helpful. Being accompanied by their loved ones to the hospital, doctor, or to chemotherapy was also cited by 67% as being a great source of comfort.
42% of cancer patients said that being bought gifts such as flowers or chocolate was not helpful. The survey instead revealed that receiving useful items to help with the side effects of treatment such as moisturizers and lip balms was more appreciated, with 86% of respondents citing that these would be helpful in assisting them to cope with the physical symptoms of the treatment.
From the survey, 96% of respondents agreed that performing some acts of service and love had a positive effect on their overall mood and ability to cope.
Julie Byard, head of trading at Cancer Research UK said: “It can be hard to know what to get somebody who is going through treatment, and that’s why we created our new Cancer Care range of helpful items that could make all of the difference to someone undergoing cancer treatment.
“Whether you need a travel bag for a hospital visit or sensitive shampoo, we hope our online site can become a one-stop shop to help people with the side effects of treatment.”
Please note, the contents of this article do not necessarily represent the official position of the PSMO. If you have any health concerns, please consult your general physician. For any cancer-related concerns and to ensure the best possible advice, please speak to a Cancer Expert. If you would like to reach out to the PSMO, please contact us here or search for your closest PSMO doctor here.
Article Reference Source: https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-us/cancer-news/press-release/2018-08-22-the-realities-of-cancer-mental-health-issues-and-changes-to-energy-levels-top-concerns-among-cancer-1