Skip to content

    Cancer Health Center

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Adjustment to Cancer: Anxiety and Distress (PDQ®): Supportive care - Patient Information [NCI] - Adjustment Disorders

    Adjustment disorders may cause serious problems in daily life.

    An adjustment disorder occurs when the patient's reaction to a stressful event:

    Recommended Related to Cancer

    General Information About Gallbladder Cancer

    Incidence and Mortality Estimated new cases and deaths from gallbladder (and other biliary) cancer in the United States in 2014:[1] New cases: 10,650. Deaths: 3,630. Cancer that arises in the gallbladder is uncommon. Clinical Features The most common symptoms caused by gallbladder cancer are jaundice, pain, and fever. Histopathology and Diagnostics In patients whose superficial cancer (T1 or confined to the mucosa) is discovered on pathological examination of...

    Read the General Information About Gallbladder Cancer article > >

    Causes of adjustment disorders in cancer patients include the following:

    • Diagnosis.
    • Treatment.
    • Recurrence.
    • Side effects of treatment.

    An adjustment disorder usually begins within three months of a stressful event and lasts no longer than six months after the event is over. Some patients may have a chronic adjustment disorder because they have many causes of distress, one right after another.

    An adjustment disorder may become a more serious mental disorder such as major depression. This is more common in children and adolescents than in adults. (See the PDQ summary on Pediatric Supportive Care for more information.)

    Counseling can help patients with adjustment disorders.

    Individual (one-to-one) and group counseling have been shown to help cancer patients with adjustment disorders. Counseling may include treatment that focuses on the patient's thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. The following may help patients cope:

    • Relaxation training.
    • Biofeedback.
    • Mental imagery exercises.
    • Problem-solving.
    • Plan for events that may happen in the future.
    • Change beliefs that are not true.
    • Distraction.
    • Thought stopping.
    • Positive thoughts.

    Counseling may be combined with antianxiety medicine or antidepressants.

    Counseling should be tried before medicine. Some patients are not helped by counseling or have a more severe mental health problem, such as severe anxiety or depression. These patients may be helped by an antianxiety or antidepressant medicine along with counseling. (See the PDQ summary on Depression for more information.)

    Current Clinical Trials

    Check NCI's list of cancer clinical trials for U.S. supportive and palliative care trials about adjustment disorder that are now accepting participants. The list of trials can be further narrowed by location, drug, intervention, and other criteria.

    General information about clinical trials is also available from the NCI Web site.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Public Information from the National Cancer Institute

    Last Updated: 8/, 015
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
    1
    Next Article:

    Today on WebMD

    Colorectal cancer cells
    New! I AM Not Cancer Facebook Group
    Lung cancer xray
    See it in pictures, plus read the facts.
     
    sauteed cherry tomatoes
    Fight cancer one plate at a time.
    Ovarian cancer illustration
    Real Cancer Perspectives
     
    Jennifer Goodman Linn self-portrait
    Blog
    what is your cancer risk
    HEALTH CHECK
     
    colorectal cancer treatment advances
    Video
    breast cancer overview slideshow
    SLIDESHOW
     
    prostate cancer overview
    SLIDESHOW
    lung cancer overview slideshow
    SLIDESHOW
     
    ovarian cancer overview slideshow
    SLIDESHOW
    Actor Michael Douglas
    Article