Cancer is one of the major causes ofdeaths across the globe. About 14 million new cases and 8 million deaths havebeen reported due to cancer in 2012, which is expected to rise by at least 70%by 20301. Hippocrates’s theory about cancer wasto persist for more than 1,300 years and was based on his overall theory of thefour types of body fluid, or humor, that a human body had. These four types ofbody fluids were blood, phlegm, yellow bile, and black bile.
A person washealthy 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 thetime doctors misinterpret the patient’s psychological pain3 . Anxiety is a common type of mentalillness found in cancer patients.
Patients think that the cancer is very deadlydisease so the stress level shoots up .Along with the stress, condition of anxiety,pain and fear also occurs. Symptoms include body trembling, and abnormalheartbeat. Anxiety can occur at any and all times during cancer diagnosis aswell as treatment 4 .
In an study of178 subjects with different types of cancer it was found that about 48% ofcancer patients report high levels of worry and 18% experience psychologicaldisorders. Anxiety can cause a tremendous impact on a patient’s quality of lifeand the ability to follow through with their cancer therapy. Higher levels ofinsomnia, pain expectation, and depression may also be a result of anxiety 5. Holland (2002) stated that no diseasehas sustained as strong of a negative stigma as cancer. When cancer isdiagnosed it causes a humongous impact (emotional, social, physical andspiritual well being) not only on the patients but also on their family membersand close ones. This impact doesn’t end with the medication as the patient maycarry a lifetime anxiety of multiple recurrences of the same. The fear of notgetting cured completely may cause mental illness6.
Studies have shown that psychologicalstress makes our immune system weak because of poorer recovery of DNA that getsdamaged and usually results with malignant alteration and cell apoptosis. Theultimate fear of the cancer patient is death or fear of separation from others.People with cancer experience distress which requires psychiatric evaluationand treatment which often neglected by the patient as well as the doctor7. So, more research is required toascertain the psychological impact of the cancer diagnosis on the patients andon their family members for the better treatment.Hence, with the above background, thepresent double prospective longitudinal study will evaluate the prevalence ofstress in cancer patients and family members.