Should those affected by a cancer consider counseling?

According to the National Cancer Institute, almost all cancer patients have feelings of distress while dealing with their diagnosis. Common feelings of distress can include: sadness, fear, feeling alone, depression, panic and spiritual uncertainty.

Many patients, as well as their loved ones, may benefit from counseling when they are having problems coping with their diagnosis. Studies have shown that cancer patients who receive counseling experience benefits, such as having lower levels of depression, anxiety and disease and treatment-related symptoms, as well as feeling more optimistic.

Patients might participate in individual, family or group counseling.

Cancer Services provides free counseling sessions by licensed social workers for clients and family members.

For more information, contact Courtney Britton, librarian at Cancer Services of Greater Baton Rouge, at (225) 927-2273, cbritton@cancer, or visit the Education Center at 550 Lobdell Ave., Baton Rouge.

ä Internet Resources:

The Benefits of Counseling – American Society for Clinical Oncology

Adjustment to Cancer: Anxiety and Distress – National Cancer Institute

This column is presented as a service by Cancer Services of Greater Baton Rouge, a United Way affiliate.