Cancer is one of the major causes of
deaths across the globe. About 14 million new cases and 8 million deaths have
been reported due to cancer in 2012, which is expected to rise by at least 70%
Hippocrates’s theory about cancer was
to persist for more than 1,300 years and was based on his overall theory of the
four types of body fluid, or humor, that a human body had. These four types of
body fluids were blood, phlegm, yellow bile, and black bile. A person was
healthy when the humor was balanced. An excess of the black bile humor, however,
was the cause of cancer 2.
According to the studies most of the
time doctors misinterpret the patient’s psychological pain3 .
Anxiety is a common type of mental
illness found in cancer patients. Patients think that the cancer is very deadly
disease so the stress level shoots up .Along with the stress, condition of anxiety,
pain and fear also occurs. Symptoms include body trembling, and abnormal
heartbeat. Anxiety can occur at any and all times during cancer diagnosis as
well as treatment 4 . In an study of
178 subjects with different types of cancer it was found that about 48% of
cancer patients report high levels of worry and 18% experience psychological
disorders. Anxiety can cause a tremendous impact on a patient’s quality of life
and the ability to follow through with their cancer therapy. Higher levels of
insomnia, pain expectation, and depression may also be a result of anxiety 5
Holland (2002) stated that no disease
has sustained as strong of a negative stigma as cancer. When cancer is
diagnosed it causes a humongous impact (emotional, social, physical and
spiritual well being) not only on the patients but also on their family members
and close ones. This impact doesn’t end with the medication as the patient may
carry a lifetime anxiety of multiple recurrences of the same. The fear of not
getting cured completely may cause mental illness6.
Studies have shown that psychological
stress makes our immune system weak because of poorer recovery of DNA that gets
damaged and usually results with malignant alteration and cell apoptosis. The
ultimate fear of the cancer patient is death or fear of separation from others.
People with cancer experience distress which requires psychiatric evaluation
and treatment which often neglected by the patient as well as the doctor7.
So, more research is required to
ascertain the psychological impact of the cancer diagnosis on the patients and
on their family members for the better treatment.
Hence, with the above background, the
present double prospective longitudinal study will evaluate the prevalence of
stress in cancer patients and family members.