Estee Counseling

Therapy & Coaching

Coping with Cancer

Coping with Cancer – The Emotional Effects

By Estee Goren, MFT , M.A.


A patient who is first diagnosed with cancer is usually overwhelmed and frightened. He may experience feelings of sadness, confusion, worry and anger. There are different psychological and social impacts on the patient such as work, family, and self-image. These challenges may lead to feelings of hopelessness and helplessness. Therefore, it is important to find ways to cope and address those feelings. Some patients will hesitate to talk to their oncologist because they worry that they distract her from his physical care. However, it is imperative that the patient finds ways to express his thoughts and concerns. Some ways to do so are keeping a journal, joining a support group, meditating, or talking to a friend or a family member. Yet, sometimes the patient will be reluctant to doing so because he worries that he complains too much. Consequently, at times, it is beneficial to seek the professional help of a therapist who specializes in working with cancer patients. Psychotherapy can assist the patient to better cope with the side effects and the pain that evolves from treatment. It may also help the patient and his family better deal with and express these common feelings, as well as provide them with a safe place to communicate their concerns, improve their coping skills, and get relief.

Most patients have to grieve the loss of their previous lifestyle, learn to accept their new reality, and make the most of the new situation. Many will gain new perception and re-assess their priorities in life. The process of living with cancer is a life-changing experience that carries the patient to re-examine his core values and passions and motivates him to pursue goals of great personal importance.

Estee Goren, M.A., is a Marriage & Family Therapist (MFC 50146). She specializes in life-threatening illnesses, grief & loss, relationship issues, life transitions, and growth. Her goal is to help others gain a new perspective, improve their quality of life, overcome difficulties, and pursue personal development.

Estee Goren, MA, MFT
MFC 50146

425 El Pintado Road, Suite 101
Danville, CA 94526

(925) 399-1177

info@EsteeCounseling.com