Understanding cervical cancer and its treatment can help you devise ways of supporting your family members, relatives or friends who suffer from cervical cancer.
What should I know about cervical cancer
The first step is always to learn, and understand what your friend is going through. This can help a great deal.
Cervical cancer, or also called uterine cervical cancer, occurs when there is tumor – can be benign or malevolent – developing in the cervix located in the lower part of the uterus. DNA mutations (or gene defects) and HPV are usually the most common causes of cervical cancer, which is highly likely to bring some changes and over-developing cells in the additional gene, leading to cancer.
There are many types of treatment for cervical cancer, including surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy or targeted-therapy. Depending on the stage of the tumor and the severity level, doctors will advise you the best treatment for your condition. Even though these treatments will work well on your cancer, they can bring about several side effects, such as tiredness, bowel problems, bladder problems, sexual problems or emotional issues.
How is my friend feeling right now?
Whether your friend has just receive the result of her diagnosis of cervical caner, or is currently treating cervical cancer, your friend must be going through a wave of emotion.
It is very common that people with cervical cancer can easily have depression during the time of treatment, which is called clinical depression. They may be sufferring some symptoms of depression including:
- Sadness and hopelessness in a long time
- Loss of interest in almost all activities which they used to enjoy
- Severe weight loss or weight gain
- Extreme tiredness or loss of energy
- Always have feelings of guilty, worthless or helpless
- Having trouble with concentration, memory and making decisions
- Having sleeping problems (insomnia)
If you notice your friend suffering from these symptoms, you should encourage them during treatment in order to help them get over depression.
At the same time, they can be in a constant state of anxiety and fear during getting cancer. They get worried uncontrollably, and get angry easily. Support from others people are therefore very helpful.
What should I do when my friend has cervical cancer?
There are a lot of ways you can try to help your friend and anyone with cancer. You can start by being a good listener who understands someone’s thoughts and feelings as much as possible. It is alright to let your friend feel sad or upset, but you should encourage them to share with you their feelings while you try to cheer them up.
You can also support them by helping them with daily tasks, such as driving car, doing household chores or preparing meals.
You should remember that every person’s cancer experience is different. Understanding your friends and showing your willingness to help can be the most meaningful and important support for them.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Review Date: July 21, 2017 | Last Modified: July 21, 2017
Helping someone with cancer. http://www.cancer.ca/en/cancer-information/cancer-journey/helping-someone-with-cancer/?region=on. Access July 21, 2017
Anxiety, Fear, and Depression. Having cancer affects your emotional health. https://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatments-and-side-effects/emotional-side-effects/anxiety-fear-depression.html. Access July 21, 2017
What Is Cervical Cancer? http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cervicalcancer/detailedguide/cervical-cancer-what-is-cervical-cancer. Access July 21, 2017