- Question from Kathleen: My job in the emergency services field can be intense and filled with long, long hours. My fear is the stress will somehow trigger a recurrence. What, if any, validity is there to such concerns? How can I rationally deal with these fears so I can enjoy a job that can be so rewarding? Thank you so much for holding this conference.
- Answers - Rosalind Kleban Kathleen, there is nothing, nothing to support the notion that stress will bring on a recurrence. It sounds like the stress you are experiencing is very positive and fulfilling, and to give up this work would probably create more stress.
- Mitch Golant The diagnosis and treatment of cancer is stressful. The experience that your body is out of control can just be overwhelming, not only physically but emotionally. The thought that somehow what you are doing at work is causing the cancer, I've learned from some other women with breast cancer, is a way of feeling more in control. "At least I can do something about my job. My body is out of control." So Roz’s comments are really important in light of that conflict.
- Rosalind Kleban The whole issue of stress causing cancer, I believe, is disseminated by a community of lay people who are trying to find a way that they believe will protect them. They reduce a very complicated medical matter to a very simplistic issue: "I will reduce stress in my life and I will never have an illness." The problem is that is all untrue and only serves to terrorize patients.
- Mitch Golant It is important to recognize that untreated depression may lead to poorer outcomes, because if you're depressed you're less likely to go to treatment. You might skip treatments. Untreated anxiety, similarly, might have that effect. If you're so anxious about the treatment (chemotherapy, side effects, nausea) that you avoid regular doctor visits, that may negatively affect your outcome.
- Rosalind Kleban However, under those circumstances, it's the lack of treatment and lack of compliance that is causing the illness.
The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.
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