November 20, 2020
Emotional support and its importance in the current context
Uncertainty resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic has caused anxiety in many people, affecting patients with chronic diseases, including cancer, most.
On this subject, Mauricio León Rivera, Surgical Oncologist at our clinic, points out that “stress and anxiety are part of the great evils of modernity with negative consequences for our health.”
He adds that “cancer is a condition that can be aggravated as a result of the spread of the new coronavirus. This, also, could cause higher levels of anxiety in cancer patients, as they attempt to stay safe from this infection”.
Even the protective measures adopted against this virus, such as social isolation, would have contributed to increasing the feeling of loneliness, hopelessness, and/or depression compared to moments before the pandemic.
On the other hand, patients waiting for long hours for in-person attendance increases the feeling of stress due to the risk of contagion, which may cause more anguish. In this context, telemedicine emerges as an essential tool to alleviate these episodes allowing to receive remote and safe patient care in the tranquility of home.
Dr. León says that it is important to identify the signs that can warn of the presence of stress in people with cancer. For example, prolonged fatigue, daytime sleepiness, memory lapses, and/or decreased physical or intellectual performance. Also, we should not ignore cervical contractures, bruxism, digestive problems, and/or excessive food consumption as a refuge from stress.
If you detect these symptoms or signs, you can contact a specialist in oncological psychology, who will take care of the proper management against the negative effects caused by cancer both in patients and their relatives, and will provide specialized support to deal with these types of problems. “In the same way, the presence of family or friends is essential since they offer encouragement and necessary emotional support”, concludes our specialist.
Dr. Mauricio León
Surgical Oncologist at Clínica Ricardo Palma