Coping with a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer can be difficult for a patient and his or her loved ones. Symptoms of pain, distress, fatigue, and depression often accompany a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer or may develop during treatment. These symptoms can affect a patient's quality of life. The discipline of psychosocial oncology is a specialty dedicated to dealing with these and other psychiatric complications of cancer and its treatment.
It is important to realize that distress and depression are treatable complications of pancreatic cancer. Proper treatment and support can help to mitigate, or eliminate, the barriers keeping you from effectively coping with your disease.
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and are having trouble coping with the disease or its treatment, we encourage you to discuss your distress with your Pancreas Center health care team who can assist you in a referral to a psychosocial oncology program. Comprised of a team of experts who specialize in treating and counseling patients with cancer, the program aims to evaluate how well the patient is living with pancreatic cancer and to develop strategies to improve and restore the patient's quality of life.