Gynaecological cancer: the emotional impact

All types of cancer can cause emotional ripples, but if you have experienced gynaecological cancer, you may find it especially impactful as it challenges the core of your femininity.

Maybe you have been for gynaecological cancer screening and are awaiting results, or have been recently diagnosed. It is understandable that you could be experiencing a range of emotions such as anxiety, fear or even panic.

You may have undergone surgery or treatment for your gynaecological cancer and are now adjusting to changes to your body. When sex was once a way to express your feelings for your partner, now you may feel too tired, have lost libido, fear pain that may result from intercourse or you may feel that the changes to your body make you less attractive.

Once you have finished your treatment, you would expect to feel a rush of relief and renewed vigour for life. However, for many women, the niggling fear of cancer returning is the overriding feeling for them at this time.

How then to deal with these complex but understandable feelings, as well as coping with your cancer diagnosis?

You may wish to try relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation or simply connecting with nature to help you let go of any negative feelings.

Some women also find therapy – either one-to-one or in a group – useful, giving them a chance to work through their emotions.

Support from your partner and family, as well as guidance from your gynaecologist, is invaluable. At times like this, a sympathetic doctor who understands the emotional, as well as the physical side of your diagnosis, can be a blessing.

Dr Tania Adib, a female gynaecologist practising in London, specialises in the early diagnosis and treatment of gynaecological cancer, and is the Lead Clinician for Gynaecological Oncology at the Queen’s Hospital. Besides her clinical skills, she has a special interest in managing the physical and emotional side effects of cancer treatments and understands how diagnosis and treatment may have impacted on your life.

To find out more about gynaecological cancer screening, treatment and support, contact Dr Tania Adib, Consultant Gynaecologist London.