The lecture in this section discusses the psychosocial side effects of cancer treatment and resources for optimistic coping.
Coping with the Fear of Recurrence
Presenter: Mary K. Hughes, MS, RN, CNS
Advanced Practice Registered Nurse
Summary: Mary K. Hughes, advanced practice nurse and renowned oncology lecturer about life issues of cancer patients, presents the lecture, "Coping with Fear of Recurrence." Drawing on her vast experience as clinical nurse specialist in the Psychiatry department at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Ms. Hughes defines fear and its physical manifestations, and she discusses typical triggers and times when fear of recurrence is likely to develop in cancer survivors. She describes the unique anticipatory fear that cancer survivors experience when changing treatment modalities, at the end of acute treatment, when experiencing new symptoms, when undergoing follow-up examinations, and on the anniversary of their diagnosis. She compares signs and symptoms of anxiety versus clinical depression and addresses psychosocial side-effects of cancer treatment. Ms. Hughes provides strategies, activities, and resources for optimistic coping. Furthermore, she emphasizes the importance of patients obtaining appropriate follow-up treatment. Her lecture concludes with discussion of support teams, support systems, and referral to specialized health care professionals.