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Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Almost third of cancer patients experience mental health issues after treatment

Written by Isabel Togoh

Nearly three in 10 (29%) cancer patients have experienced mental health issues as a result of treatment, figures show.

Just over one in 10 (11%) had sought professional help for conditions including anxiety and depression triggered by cancer treatment, data from a YouGov survey in support of Cancer Research UK found.

The figures reveal some of the most common changes patients experience during treatment, including changes to hair, weight and skin.

About 29% said they saw changes to their hair while just over one in four noted drier skin. Some 37% cited changes in their weight.

More than half (57%) said their energy levels had changed as a result of treatment, and nearly half (48%) reported a more positive relationship with loved ones following a cancer diagnosis.

But 6% said their personal relationships were negatively affected after being diagnosed, while 45% said there was no difference.

Some 1,015 adults at one point living with cancer took part in the survey.

Talia Mazzuchetto, 19, said her mental health suffered after being diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma in 2015.

The rare cancer affects bones or surrounding tissue, and is mostly diagnosed in children and young people.

She said: "I really struggled after my diagnosis with depression and was anxious about all the different medical treatments I would need to have.

"I have been seeing a counsellor to talk through these concerns and I have been lucky to have the support of a close family and friends."

It comes as Cancer Research UK launched a range of curated items to help those undergoing treatment.

A website at https://shop.cancerresearchuk.org/cancer-care?page=6 includes a range of recovery underwear, moisturising lotions and toiletry bags among other items to help ease the side effects of treatment.

Profits from the items will go to the charity.

Julie Byard, head of trading at Cancer Research UK, said: "It can be hard to know what to get somebody who is going through treatment, and that's why we created our new Cancer Care range of helpful items that could make all of the difference to someone undergoing cancer treatment.

"Whether you need a travel bag for a hospital visit, or sensitive shampoo, we hope our online site can become a one-stop shop to help people with the side effects of treatment."

Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2018, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Pixabay.