After resection of a localized pheochromocytoma presumed to represent a benign tumor and documented normal postoperative biochemical testing, disease recurrence occurs in 6.5% to 16.5% of patients, and 50% of patients with disease recurrence develop metastatic disease.[1,2,3] Insufficient data exist to determine recurrence rates after complete surgical resection of regional or metastatic disease.
Treatment for recurrent disease involves appropriate medical management (i...
Anxiety is fear, dread, and uneasiness caused by stress.
Distress is emotional, mental, social, or spiritual suffering. Patients who are distressed may have a range of feelings from vulnerability and sadness to depression, anxiety, panic, and isolation.
Anxiety and distress may affect a patient's ability to cope with a cancer diagnosis or treatment.
Patients may have anxiety while being screened for a possible cancer, waiting for the results of tests for cancer, receiving a cancer diagnosis, being treated for cancer, or worrying that cancer will recur (come back). It may cause patients to miss check-ups or delay treatment. Anxiety may increase pain, affect sleep, and cause nausea and vomiting. Even mild anxiety can affect the quality of life of patients with cancer and their families and may need to be treated.
Patients living with cancer can feel different levels of distress.
Some patients living with cancer have a low level of distress and others have higher levels of distress. The level of distress ranges from being able to adjust to living with cancer to having a serious mental health problem, such as major depression. However, most patients with cancer do not have signs or symptoms of any specific mental health problem. This summary describes the less severe levels of distress in patients living with cancer, including:
Normal adjustment-A condition in which a person makes changes in his or her life to manage a stressful event such as a cancer diagnosis. In normal adjustment, a person learns to cope well with emotional distress and solve problems related to cancer.
Psychological and social distress-A condition in which a person has some trouble making changes in their life to manage a stressful event such as a cancer diagnosis. Help from a professional to learn new coping skills may be needed.
Adjustment disorder-A condition in which a person has a lot of trouble making changes in his or her life to manage a stressful event such as a cancer diagnosis. Symptoms such as depression, anxiety, or other emotional, social, or behavioral problems occur and worsen the person's quality of life. Medicine and help from a professional to make these changes may be needed.
Anxiety disorder-A condition in which a person has a lot of anxiety from a stressful event such as a cancer diagnosis. The anxiety affects his or her ability to manage their emotions, social relationships, and work life. Medicine and help from a professional to manage the anxiety may be needed.
This summary is about adjustment to cancer, anxiety, and distress in adults with cancer.
See the following PDQ summaries for information on these mental health problems:
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
WebMD Public Information from the National Cancer Institute
May 16, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
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