Bladder Cancer Takes a Toll on Mental Health. Here ’ s How to Cope

Although Mac Howard has spent the last 16 years without a bladder-cancer recurrence, he never feels truly free. The 58-year-old Indiana resident still studies his urine for any traces of blood, and every time he marks another anniversary of his diagnosis, there’s a twist of fear in his stomach. “It’s always in the back of my mind,” he says. “At times, the anxiety has been crippling, and I know my wife and three kids have been affected by that. The recurrence rate for bladder cancer is fairly high, and going as long as I have doesn’t feel like a success—it’s more like suspense. Is this going to be the month it comes back?” [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] More than 81,000 new cases of bladder cancer will be diagnosed in 2022, according to the American Cancer Society, and the five-year recurrence rate is 50% to 70%. According to a 2020 survey of nearly 600 people living with bladder cancer conducted by the online patient community Health Union, 18% of respondents were diagnosed with depression and 16% with anxiety. About 60% said they experience anxiety about their cancer returning, and 23% have searched the terms “mental health and bladder cancer” online. Only about 38% reported feeling emotionally supported through their cancer process. “Bladder cancer can be highly stressful because you’re often dealing with changes in body function and sometimes body image, as well as possible sexual h...
Source: TIME: Health - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Tags: Uncategorized Cancer healthscienceclimate Source Type: news