Your treatment plan will be individual to you. There are many different types of cancer treatment such as surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, hormonal therapies, targeted therapies, immunotherapy, stem cell and bone marrow transplants, as well supportive treatments.
Understanding your treatment and the possible side effects can help you to manage the psychological impact of treatment. For more general information on the different types of cancer treatments and possible side effects, the Macmillan website has helpful resources.
If you have specific concerns or questions regarding your cancer treatment, ask a health professional involved in your care.
Some of the side effects of treatment may have psychological implications both during and after treatment. For example, treatment may lead to temporary or permanent changes in your appearance, bodily functions and other aspects of physical wellbeing. The uncertainty regarding changes in your body during treatment may feel difficult to adjust to and this may influence your psychological wellbeing.
Your treatment is likely to bring many physical, psychological and practical demands. You may find that you focus your energy and strength on finding your way through each stage of treatment one day at a time. You may not have had much time to prepare prior to commencing treatment and there may be uncertainty regarding how long your treatment may last.
Given the physical demands of treatment, people commonly find they do not feel ready to make sense of how they are feeling emotionally during treatment and often connect with their feelings after treatment. This psychological response during treatment can be protective and may help you stay focused during treatment.
The ‘Psychological Circle of Demand during Treatment’ diagram below illustrates the various psychological demands that you may experience during treatment. The psychological demands you experience during treatment will be individual to you and your personal circumstances. You may experience some, many, few or none of these psychological demands during treatment.
Psychological preparation for treatment may help you to identify ways to manage and promote your psychological wellbeing during treatment. As with any form of preparation,
it is impossible to predict the course of treatment and what you may find challenging.
The advice on these pages is designed to help you prepare for the treatment ahead and support you through to recovery.
If you need further advice and support please discuss this with your key worker or healthcare professional.