Anxiety

Anxiety is a common symptom among people with cancer. According to Cancer.net, anxiety may be described as feeling nervous, "on edge" or worried. A normal emotion, it alerts your body to respond to a threat. However, intense and prolonged anxiety is a disorder which may interfere with your daily activities and relationships. Anxiety may make coping with cancer treatment more difficult and may also interfere with your ability to make choices about your care. Therefore, identifying and managing anxiety are important parts of cancer treatment.1

Anxiety may make coping with cancer treatment more difficult and may also interfere with your ability to make choices about your care.

Cancer.Net2

Managing Anxiety

The Society for Integrative Oncology evidence-based clinical practice guidelines cite the following complementary approaches as being useful in an integrative plan to manage anxiety:3

Medical cannabis is reputed by some to reduce anxiety, although a 2018 review found insufficient evidence to support this use.4 In fact, for some, cannabis can increase feelings of uneasiness or anxiety, especially the strains that are higher in THC.

Integrative Plans, Protocols and Medical Systems

For more information about plans and protocols, see our Integrative Plans and Protocols page.

Laura Pole, RN, OCNS, October 18, 2018: Ruth Hennig, a two-time breast cancer survivor and member of the BCCT team, has written blog posts describing her experience using acupuncture and other complementary approaches to bolster her resilience during treatment and tame her anxiety upon learning the breast cancer had recurred. Her tips and insights for taking care of herself after a double mastectomy are simple and practical, and they may be incredibly valuable for others having a mastectomy. See her posts in the Our Blog box below.

Written by Laura Pole, RN, MSN, OCNS, and reviewed by Nancy Hepp, MS; most recent update on October 18, 2018.

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