Controlling the Fear of Cancer Recurrence

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Cancer survivors know that the effects of the disease and its treatments aren't merely physical. While each person is unique, many cancer survivors share some common concerns.

One of the most basic is the fear that the cancer will recur. It's important to remember that while you can't control whether cancer recurs, you can control how much you let the fear of recurrence impact your life.

A first step in coping with fear is to try not to feel guilty or ignore feelings in hopes that they'll go away. Instead, there are certain things you can do to help cope with this fear:

• Talking often reduces fears and anxieties. Talk with your health care team or friends, or join a support group.

• Try writing down your thoughts and feelings in a journal.

• Try other complementary modalities like yoga, music therapy, tai chi, guided imagery, reflexology and massage. There are reputable centers all across the country that offer classes in these disciplines.

M. D. Anderson Resources

M. D. Anderson's Place ... of wellness provides a service where persons touched by cancer may enhance their quality of life through programs that focus on the mind, body and spirit. It offers more than 75 complementary therapy programs, most are free of charge.

Place ... of wellness is open to anyone touched by cancer, their family members and caregivers, whether or not they were treated at M. D. Anderson. No physician referral is required. For more information, call 713-794-4700

Other Resources
Yoga Bear Blog 
Integrative Therapies at Dana Farber
Integrative Therapy Classes at Sloan Kettering
Integrative Services at Cleveland Clinic

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