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Social and emotional impact of cancer

As a survivor, you will face some psychological and emotional challenges – and these can show up immediately or even many years after treatment.

The good news is that you don’t have to suffer alone. Therapy, support groups, social media and community resources are available to help you cope with these issues.

The first step in coping is realising the problem and having the courage to ask for help.

Here are some of the most common issues that cancer survivors may face:

Fear of recurrence

Many survivors worry that their cancer will come back at some point. Anniversaries – for example, the anniversary of your diagnosis, can often trigger these feelings. Knowing your own body can help distinguish between normal physical changes and more serious symptoms that need to be reported to your doctor.

Grief

Grief is a natural result of loss. Loss can include changes in your appearance, your health, sex drive, fertility and physical independence. Support groups and counselling can help you work through these issues.

Depression

It’s estimated 70% of cancer survivors experience depression at some point. If you’re feeling depressed for long periods of time, there is support available. GenesisCare can connect you with a Psychologist, Counsellor or support group.

Body image

People who have experienced major changes in physical function can suffer from a lack of self-esteem. If you’re feeling down about your appearance, your desire for intimacy and social interaction can also be impacted. Honesty and open communication with loved ones can reduce these negative feelings.

Spirituality

Many people find that life takes on new meaning after cancer, and they often renew their commitment to spiritual practices or organised religion.

Research suggests that spirituality improves quality of life through a strong social support network, adaptive coping, lessened depression and better physiological function.

Survivor guilt

It’s normal to wonder why you survived cancer when others don't. If you suffer from a prolonged sense of guilt, seek help from a Psychologist, Counsellor or support group.

Relationships

You may find that friends, co-workers and family members treat you differently after a cancer diagnosis.

They may be extremely supportive, and alternatively they may avoid you, or they may not want to discuss your cancer. Finding other people who have survived cancer and understand what you’ve been through can be very helpful.

The workplace

You may feel like you can’t relate to co-workers who haven’t experienced cancer. It’s normal to feel reluctant to talk about your cancer treatment to employers or co-workers in case you’re worried about being treated differently. Your employer may have a support group or other connections to resources for people who have experienced cancer.

WHAT IS RADIATION THERAPY?
Radiation therapy uses radiation to kill or damage cancerous (abnormal) cells and stop them from growing and multiplying.

It is one of the best-established, most effective and well tolerated therapies for treating almost all cancers, extending lives, and reducing suffering.
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TREATMENT TYPES
Radiation therapy can be delivered:

From a machine outside of the body – this is called external-beam radiation therapy

By placing radioactive material inside the body – this is known as brachytherapy
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RADIATION THERAPY EXTERNAL BEAM
External beam radiation therapy, the radiation oncology team uses a machine called a linear accelerator, or linac.

A linac uses electricity to form a stream of fast-moving subatomic (electron) particles. This creates high-energy radiation that is used to kill cancerous cells.
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STEREOTACTIC (SABR, SRS, GAMMA)
Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) delivers high doses of radiation with sub millimetre precision positioning. It is often used to treat small tumours with well-defined edges.

It is most commonly used to treat primary brain or spinal tumours – as well as secondary brain tumours.
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BRACHYTHERAPY
Brachytherapy involves radiation delivered from a tiny source implanted directly into or next to the tumour.

These sources produce gamma-rays, which have the same effect on cancer cells as X-rays.
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  • TREATMENT TYPES Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Sed in nisl ac lacus iaculis iaculis a in elit.
  • RADIATION THERAPY EXTERNAL BEAM Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Sed in nisl ac lacus iaculis iaculis a in elit.
  • STEREOTACTIC (SABR, SRS, GAMMA) Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Sed in nisl ac lacus iaculis iaculis a in elit.
  • BRACHYTHERAPY