Mental Health and Alternative Medicine
Taking care of your mental health
The ways in which cancer and your treatments affect you physically, emotionally, and socially are bound to create a lot of psychological stress. It is common to feel anxious, afraid, and depressed during this time. And it is especially important to seek help and to find effective strategies to cope with these feelings. Do not bottle up your feelings and put on a happy face because you want to protect those around you. Your loved ones care about you very much and want to help you no matter how you feel. Support can come from trained professionals in your treatment team, from your loved ones, and from support groups. Together you can work out effective strategies to help you cope. These can include relaxation, stress management techniques, medication, and counselling. Lung Cancer Canada’s Peer-to-Peer Navigators are lung cancer survivors and supporters (family members and caregivers) who have walked the lung cancer path. They know how difficult dealing with lung cancer can be. These volunteers offer mentorship, encouragement, advice, experience, and hope to anyone who has been newly diagnosed or who needs additional support through a one-on-one, personal connection. For more information, click here.
Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Many people with cancer find it helpful to engage in complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) to help them better manage and cope with their cancer. Popular CAM therapies include acupuncture, massage, meditation, qigong, and yoga. If you are thinking about any of these activities, ensure that you find qualified practitioners and centres that can take your needs into consideration. It is also very important to tell your doctor about your activities, especially if you take nutritional or herbal supplements. Some supplements, including vitamins and antioxidants, can interfere with the medications that your doctor gives you.