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Coping with Brain Cancer

The diagnosis of brain cancer often provokes a profound emotional response in the patient, family members, and friends. Denial, depression, a feeling of hopelessness, stress, and fear are normal and usual reactions. No single response is either expected or unexpected and coping with anxiety is not easy.

A lack of understanding of what's in store, the unknown, and what's next should be met by thoughtful, straightforward, and frequent discussions between physician, nurse, patient and family. An inability to work, tend to business affairs, care for one's family, and interact with friends in the usual manner, all contribute to emotional distress. Thorough explanations, including the prospects for remission and the plans for cancer treatment help in coping with cancer and may bring emotional relief as the patient focuses on the treatment ahead and the prospect of cancer recovery and remission.

Family members or loved ones may have questions about chemotherapy and alternative methods of cancer treatment. It is best to speak directly with physicians regarding specific medical questions. Family members or loved ones should discuss any problems or reactions they may have.

Nurses and other health professionals understand the complexity of emotions and special ongoing needs of those living with brain cancer. They also will spend much time with patients, become their confidants, and can be very helpful in their emotional support in coping with cancer.

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