Cancer Support: Managing Stress

Overview

There's a lot you can do to lower your stress when you have cancer. The key is to find one or two ways of coping with stress that work for you. Pick at least one you can do when your energy is low. Try different things until you find what works for you.

For example, you could try relaxation exercises like progressive muscle relaxation and roll breathing. Other things to try include writing in a journal, doing something active, and learning guided imagery.

Sometimes just talking about your feelings can help reduce stress. And it may be easier to talk to someone who isn't directly affected by your cancer.

  • A cancer support group helps you connect with other people who understand what you're going through.
  • A counselor or therapist can help you work through the stress of cancer.

Your doctor can help you find a cancer support group or a counselor.

Where to learn more

Ask your doctors to suggest good sources for cancer information. They may have information for you or may recommend trustworthy websites. And many hospitals have medical libraries that are open to the public.

A number of national organizations have websites you can trust. They include:

  • The American Cancer Society (ACS) at www.cancer.org.
  • The National Cancer Institute (NCI) at www.cancer.gov.
  • The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) at www.nccn.com.
  • The Patient Advocate Foundation at www.patientadvocate.org.

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