A Malaysian study has discovered that a fifth of cancer patients suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder
Even worse, studies show that about one-third of them still experience consistent or even worsened PTSD four years after diagnosis.
Researchers also added that PTSD is a serious condition that needs to be identified as early as possible, monitored and treated.
Becki McGuinness was diagnosed with bone cancer and mentioned that the worst part of it was having to deal with depression and PTSD. She went under chemotherapy after being diagnosed at the age of 21. When the chemo brought no results, she was told that she needed radiotherapy.
“By the time I’d finished radiotherapy, and a few months passed, my periods were stopping.
“It wasn’t until I was 23 that I found out that I’d gone through the menopause and was infertile,” she said.
Even worse, when she found out that it could have been prevented, things got even worse.
“I was waiting a whole month for my treatment. I later saw a gynaecologist who said, ‘If you’d only been sent to me I could have saved your fertility.”
“I could take all the physical stuff. I could take even that I might die but when something’s taken away and it’s not your choice, that’s what I find quite stressful.
“If you take that person’s choice away, it’s like saying you’re not worth picking for yourself what you want for your future.”
When researchers tested them for PTSD after six months and then again four years later, they discovered that after six months 21% had ptsd, while four years later it dropped to 6%.
“Many cancer patients believe they need to adopt a ‘warrior mentality’, and remain positive and optimistic from diagnosis through treatment to stand a better chance of beating their cancer,” said the study’s lead author, Caryn Mei Hsien Chan.