PSYCHOLOGICAL IMPACT OF BREAST CANCER SURVIVOR
21 Dec 2018
Cancer is a kind of uncontrolled cell proliferation disease. Cancer is also often called a malignant tumor. Communities in many countries often consider cancer to be an incurable disease, an introductory disease of death, and more often experienced by people who are elderly.
Breast cancer is a malignant tumor that attacks breast tissue. The characteristics of breast cancer are the presence of pain in the breast, lumps in the breast getting bigger, the skin of the breast shrinks like orange peel, and sometimes fluid or blood comes out from the nipple. Usually, cancer wounds will appear at an advanced stage which makes the patient uncomfortable so consider looking for medical help. This condition will have an impact on the psychological aspects of the patient, namely changes in body image, self-concept, social relations, and others.
Cancer sufferers are faced with a series of treatments. Medical treatments are offered starting from medicines that must be taken, radiotherapy, to operations performed to remove cancer cells. Not infrequently patients will also undergo a series of chemotherapy treatments. Patients who have completed a series of treatments are generally referred to as survivors or cancer survivors. Survivor still has to undergo routine control to check whether there are cancer cells in his body or not.
The psychological impact experienced by each person varies depending on the severity (stage), the type of treatment that is lived and the characteristics of each sufferer. About 30.0% of cancer patients experience self-adjustment problems and 20.0% are diagnosed with depression. 8 The psychological effects that are often felt by breast cancer patients are in the form of helplessness, anxiety, shame, decreased self-esteem, stress and anger.
Social support also affects patients in undergoing therapy. Social support is a form of assistance felt by someone who can foster feelings of comfort, confidence, enthusiasm, and improve one's mental health obtained through interpersonal relationships. The biggest source of social support comes from people like family, spouses, friends, and coworkers. Support can reduce levels of anxiety, general disorders, somatization, and depression. The form of support itself can be in the form of emotional support, award support, instrumental support, information support and social network support.