World Cancer Day

Child with cancer smiling while sitting on hospital bed

Connecting Mental Health And Cancer

World cancer day is about continuing to raise awareness of cancer and to encourage its detection, prevention and treatment. As we can all imagine, cancer is not only devastating to the body, but to the mental health of the patient. Many cancer patients suffer from depression, anxiety and a great fear of death.

World cancer day is also about connecting mental health and cancer. In 2018, there were 17 million new cases of cancer worldwide. The most common types of cancer were: breast, lung, prostate and bowel. This is also 17 million potential new cases of mental health disorders, not including people without cancer.

Many cancer patients experience a very great fear of death, especially the ones who have entered the final stage where no treatments are left to eliminate the cancer. What is exciting is that multiple clinical trials around the United States have demonstrated that psilocybin helps ease the fear, depression and anxiety related to death of terminally-ill cancer patients.

While advancement in medical treatments are constantly progressing, here we have a mushroom that has been around before humans, and that is showing promise to help treat terminally-ill cancer patients! This is very exciting news because any treatment, whether synthetic or natural, should be utilized if it proves to help with the process of suffering.

There have also been cases where marijuana has been used in children with cancer, demonstrating an improved quality of life. We cannot continue to ignore the mental health of our cancer patients. Society has focused for way too long on the medical implications of cancer, often ignoring the patients’ mental health.

We can all probably relate to cancer by knowing someone in our family who has been effected. It is a terrible disease that not only attempts to rob one of their body, but of their sanity as well. When pumped with so much chemotherapy, it sometimes feels like the patient is being drowned in chemicals.

Sometimes all that is needed to help relieve the suffering of cancer patients is more empathy and less sympathy. Everyone can feel bad, but not everyone can relate to another’s emotions and current mental state. If we can become just a little less selfish, even a small difference can prove to be life-saving for our cancer patients.

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