Mind, Body and Side Effects

Health of the Whole

Many of the traditional symptoms of depression overlap with the symptoms of cancer, such as fatigue, weight changes, sleep problems, lack of concentration, lack of energy and guilt. Each patient must be evaluated properly, in the context of the cancer itself, as part of fully integrated care that links physical treatment and the psychological needs of the individual.

Detecting Distress

Screening patients for distress is as important as any other basic vital sign. It should be monitored at all points of care and should change according to what's happening in the lives of patients, their cancer and how they're responding to treatment. Distress screening is endorsed by the American College of Surgeons as well as the Institute of Medicine.

Bone Deep

Bone health may be of particular concern for cancer survivors. People with breast or prostate cancer who undergo treatments that block specific hormones may be at higher risk of thinning bones. Also, certain chemotherapy drugs used to treat these or other cancers may induce ovarian failure in younger women, causing bones to thin as a result of early menopause and estrogen deprivation. In addition, steroids may also accelerate bone loss in both men and women.

Cancer-Related Fatigue

According to the American Cancer Society, cancer-related fatigue is the most common side effect of cancer and cancer treatment. Fatigue is feeling tired - physically, mentally, and emotionally. It means having less energy to do the things you normally do or want to do. In people with cancer, it can be caused by the cancer itself, cancer treatment, and other factors.

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