Certain situations can also increase fear and anxiety. Disease progression or a change in treatment regimen may increase fear of death or fear of the future. Anxiety about recurrence may increase after treatment, as the time approaches for a checkup. Aches, pains or other problems can also trigger fear of recurrence. Taking good care of your body by eating a healthful diet and exercising when you are able is one way to cope. Many people find that knowledge about cancer helps to alleviate the fear. Others deal with cancer in practical ways, such as taking care of wills and other legal issues, and emotional ways, such as talking with loved ones about unresolved problems. Some people use humor to help manage their emotions.
Cancer survivors report a significantly greater unmet need for mental
health services than do people who have never had cancer. Symptoms of fear that may indicate a need for mental health care include anger and irritability, difficulty with concentration and problem solving and physical symptoms, such as muscle tension, dry mouth, trembling, shaking or restlessness. Some people find that medication is appropriate in helping them get through the most stressful period. Every person dealing with cancer is unique, and their beliefs, experiences and factors, such as economic and marital status, can have a profound impact on their experience with cancer. So control is out the window and time flies when you're having cancer!