Stress


Coping with the stress of cancer and treatment side effects is challenging. Many cancer patients experience anxiety and feelings of depression. Feeling overwhelmed, hopeless, isolated, tearful, and having difficulties concentrating are common. Speaking with a counselor or practicing relaxation techniques helps some cancer patients feel better. Relaxation techniques can help with sleep, energy and reducing anxiety.

There are different methods to help relieve day-to-day stress. A simple relaxation exercise that can be done through the day includes:

  • Finding a quiet place.
  • Staring at an object or close the eyes and thinking of a peaceful scene.
  • Taking a deep breath in through the nose and breathing out through the mouth, pushing all of the air out of the lungs.
  • Placing one hand on the abdomen while taking a breath in through the nose and let it out through your mouth, focusing on the way the muscles are working to help breathing.

Cancer counseling services at Penn Medicine offer support and information about stress and concerns cancer patients may face as they undergo cancer treatment. Services also include psychological and spiritual counseling.

The Abramson Cancer Center offers psychological and spiritual counseling. For more information about counseling services at the Abramson Cancer Center or to make an appointment, call 1-800-789-PENN or call directly 215-615-0534.

The Joan Karnell Cancer Center at Pennsylvania Hospital also offers multiple programs for stress reduction, including psychological counseling, stress and energy management, music therapy, guided imagery, art therapy and spiritual counseling. For more information about counseling services at the Joan Karnell Cancer Center or to make an appointment, call 1-800-789-PENN or call directly 215-829-6466.

The Penn Program for Mindfulness is an evidence-based program that teaches patients how to manage stress with tools taught by qualified instructors. The Penn Program for Mindfulness is available to patients at the Abramson Cancer Center and the Joan Karnell Cancer Center at Pennsylvania Hospital.

Learn more about The Penn Program for Mindfulness.