• Breast cancer
    • Cervical cancer
    • Lung Cancer
    • Prostate cancer
    • As well, our team has significant experience helping patients (and their families) cope with many other cancers including testicular cancer, kidney cancer, bladder cancer, head and neck cancers, Leukemias (ALL, AML, CLL, & CML), Lymphomas (Hodgkin & Non-Hodgkin), colorectal cancer, cancers of the brain and central nervous system, ovarian cancer, pancreatic cancer, melanoma, and penile cancer.

     


     

    Breast Cancer

    One in nine women will develop breast cancer during her lifetime. Less than 1% of breast cancer patients are men. Individuals diagnosed with breast cancer may experience physical impacts such as:

    • Breast swelling and thickening of skin around the breast
    • Complete removal of the breast
    • Changes in nipple appearance, and discharge from the nipple
    • Pain
    • Fatigue and weakness
    • Nausea and headache
    • Hair loss
    • Hot flashes
    • Impaired memory

    Emotional, Psychological and Social Impacts

    Being diagnosed with and treated for a potentially life-threatening disease is a traumatic experience. The shock and fear of being told that you have cancer can overwhelm your usual coping strategies, leaving you vulnerable to significant anxiety and depression. Similarly, many breast cancer patients experience trouble with body image after treatment. Scars, changes to skin, and in some cases mastectomies can cause women to perceive their sexuality and femininity differently after treatment. Many experience loss of self-esteem, shame or embarrassment which can lead to depression.

    Whole families are affected by breast cancer. Couples may experience challenges with sexual intimacy. Family caregiving roles and responsibilities may change. Children may react in a variety of ways to a parent’s diagnosis: they may become clingy and anxious, or they may distance themselves. Support from family and friends is very important during the healing process.

    Help from Change Clinic

    Change Clinic has experience helping people suffering from breast cancer cope with their diagnosis, treatment decisions, and the aftermath of treatment.


     Cervical Cancer

    Cervical cancer is the third most common type of cancer in women.   Physical impacts in the early stages of cervical cancer include abnormal vaginal bleeding and continuous vaginal discharge. Cervical cancer may spread to the bladder, intestines, lungs and liver. The physical impacts of the advanced stages of the illness may include: bone pain or fractures, leakage of urine, back or leg pain, loss of appetite and weight loss, pelvic pain, and swollen limbs. Infertility is a common side effect of treatment.

    Emotional, Psychological and Social Impacts

    Shock, fear, self-blame,guilt, powerlessness, and anger are some common emotions experienced by women who receive a diagnosis of cervical cancer. Women may also feel anxious about the future and their chances to survive this illness. In addition, treatment interventions may threaten a woman’s sense of femininity, especially if the ability to conceive children has been compromised.

    Because of the intimate nature of cervical cancer, women may feel uncomfortable sharing their experience  with friends or family, which may lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness.  Furthermore, because common treatment side effects include exhaustion, discomfort, and decreased libido, romantic relationships may suffer.

    Help from Change Clinic

    Individual therapy at Change Clinic can help women work through their difficult emotional experience related to diagnosis and treatment. Furthermore, couples counselling can help improve intimacy and communication between couples struggling with sexual dysfunction.


     

    Lung Cancer

    People suffering from lung cancer and going through treatment experience a variety of physical symptoms including:

    • Shortness of breath, coughing, scratchy voice
    • Chest pain, bone pain, or joint pain
    • Loss of appetite and weight loss
    • Fatgue and weakness
    • Headache
    • Facial paralysis, or facial swelling
    • Impaired memory

     

    Emotional, Psychological, and Social Impacts

    Prognosis with lung cancer is often poor, causing distress, frustration, anxiety, and depression. Patients and their families must cope with the fear of death and dying. Family members become caregivers during difficult treatments and recovery. They may be facing challenges of caregiver burnout, and balancing all of their other responsibilities. Patients may feel guilt or frustration at their loss of independence.

    Couples are often deal with intimacy and sexual issues that are rarely discussed openly. Changes in roles and responsibilities may change how couples relate to one another. Furthermore, social isolation may result from physical effects of disease progression or treatments.

     

    Help from Change Clinic

    One-on-one therapy from Change Clinic can help patients find ways of coping with the challenges they are facing after being diagnosed with lung cancer. Couples counselling for patients and their partners can help reconcile the changes in roles after the diagnosis.


     

    Prostate Cancer

    Men who have been diagnosed with and are undergoing treatment for prostate cancer will likely face a number of physical impacts from treatment. Some of these include:

    • Erectile dysfunction (impotence)
    • Urinary incontinence
    • Fatigue
    • Loss of fertility due to treatments
    • Pain, including bone pain if cancer has spread
    • Bowel irritation

    Additional side effects of hormone-based treatments include hot flashes, decreased sexual desire, loss of bone density, fatigue, increased risk of diabetes and heart attacks, strokes, weight gain, decreased muscle mass, anemia, and memory loss.

    Emotional, Psychological, and Social Impacts

    Men dealing with the physical impacts of prostate cancer diagnosis and treatment often experience distress, low self-esteem, frustration, embarrassment, and helplessness. It is common to experience anxiety or depression due to difficulty adjusting to a new lifestyle, or decreased quality of life. Feelings of anger, guilt, and sadness associated with impotence are common. And incontinence may lead to limited activities and social isolation.

    Men often feel uneasy talking about their sexual functioning with a health professional, their partner or close friends and family. Many face a sense of loss of masculinity and experience anxiety about their perceived inability to satisfy their partners. This may interfere with a couple’s quality of sexual intimacy.

    Help from Change Clinic

    Couples therapy or individual sessions can help men and their partners work on the social, emotional, and psychological impacts of prostate cancer treatments.