Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier
WebMD

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine
WebMD

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion
    WebMD

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community
    WebMD

    Community

    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Cancer Health Center

Font Size
A
A
A

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

Patients living with cancer need to make adjustments in their lives to cope with the disease and changes in treatment.

Living with a diagnosis of cancer involves many life adjustments. Normal adjustment involves learning to cope with emotional distress and solve problems caused by having cancer. Patients with cancer do not make these adjustments all at once, but over a period of time as their disease and treatment change. Patients may need to make adjustments when they:

Recommended Related to Cancer

Top Cancer News of 2008: Readers' Choice

Celebrities facing cancer. The potential health threats caused by everyday items such moisturizers, countertops, and cell phones. These topics were among the 10 most viewed cancer news stories on WebMD for 2008. Patrick Swayze Has Pancreatic Cancer Christina Applegate's Mastectomy: FAQ Granite Countertops a Recipe for Danger? Moisturizers Up Skin Cancer in Mice Sen. Ted Kennedy Has Brain Cancer Symptoms Warn of Ovarian...

Read the Top Cancer News of 2008: Readers' Choice article > >

  • Learn the diagnosis.
  • Are being treated for cancer.
  • Finish treatment.
  • Learn that the cancer is in remission.
  • Learn that the cancer has come back.
  • Become a cancer survivor.

Coping methods help patients adjust.

Patients find it easier to adjust if they can carry on with their usual routines and work, keep doing activities that matter to them, and cope with the stress in their lives.

Coping is the use of thoughts and behaviors to adjust to life situations. The way people cope is usually linked to their personality traits (such as whether they usually expect the best or worst, or are shy or outgoing).

Coping methods include the use of thoughts and behaviors in special situations. For example, changing a daily routine or work schedule to manage the side effects of cancer treatment is a coping method. Using coping methods can help a patient deal with certain problems, emotional distress, and cancer in his or her daily life.

Patients who adjust well are usually very involved in coping with cancer. They also continue to find meaning and importance in their lives. Patients who do not adjust well may withdraw from relationships or situations and feel hopeless. Studies are being done to find out how different types of coping methods affect the quality of life for cancer survivors.

Patients who are adjusting to the changes caused by cancer may have distress.

Distress can occur when patients feel they are unable to manage or control changes caused by cancer. Patients with the same diagnosis or treatment can have very different levels of distress. Patients have less distress when they feel the demands of the diagnosis and treatment are low or the amount of support they get is high. For example, a health care professional can help the patient adjust to the side effects of chemotherapy by giving medicine for nausea.

1 | 2 | 3 | 4
1 | 2 | 3 | 4
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