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Cancer (Psychosocial support)

Mental health and psychological wellbeing support for people with cancer at Schoen Clinic Chelsea

If you're visiting this page, it may be because you're facing some tough challenges at the moment.

It's common to experience difficulties with your mental health when you're coping with cancer yourself, or caring for a loved one with a cancer diagnosis. This can occur at any stage of your cancer journey, be that at the time of diagnosis, throughout treatment, after remission, or at end of life.

If you’re looking for specialist support during this difficult time, our private mental health clinic in London is home to a caring team of professionals dedicated to supporting you.

friend supporting woman with cancer to improve her mental health

Common psychological effects following a cancer diagnosis

When you hear "cancer diagnosis," you likely think of the physical toll it takes. But what about the mental health challenges faced by people and families dealing with cancer? Receiving a cancer diagnosis often triggers a myriad of psychological effects, which can be challenging to manage. Recent research from Maggie’s found that 3 in 5 people who have or have had cancer feel that the mental challenge of cancer is harder to cope with than the physical treatment and side effects.

Responses to cancer vary widely among individuals and you may not necessarily experience the emotions discussed here, but it’s important to know that you're not alone in facing mental health challenges as a result of cancer.

Understanding your emotions during cancer treatment

Cancer can bring about a range of mental health symptoms that may benefit from specialist support at different stages of the cancer journey.

Here are some of the most common mental health symptoms experienced during cancer treatment:

  1. Anxiety: Feelings of worry, apprehension, or fear about the cancer diagnosis, treatment, or the future can manifest as anxiety. It may present as restlessness, irritability, or physical symptoms such as a racing heart or difficulty breathing.

  2. Depression: Persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or loss of interest in previously enjoyable activities may indicate depression. Fatigue, changes in appetite or sleep patterns, and difficulty concentrating are also common symptoms.

  3. Fear of recurrence: Even after successful treatment, the fear of cancer returning can be overwhelming for many individuals. This fear can significantly impact your quality of life and may lead to heightened anxiety or depression.

  4. Body image concerns: Cancer treatment often causes changes in physical appearance, such as hair loss, weight changes, or scarring. These changes can affect self-esteem and sexual intimacy, , leading to feelings of insecurity or distress.

  5. Grief and loss: Coping with cancer may involve grieving the loss of one's health, independence, or future plans. This grief process can be complex and may involve feelings of sadness, anger, or numbness.

  6. Social isolation: Cancer treatment may disrupt social connections and activities, leading to feelings of loneliness or isolation. This can exacerbate existing mental health concerns and impact overall well-being.

  7. Cognitive changes: Some individuals may experience cognitive changes during cancer treatment, often referred to as "chemo brain" or "cancer-related cognitive impairment." Chemotherapy side effects impacting mental health may include difficulties with memory, concentration, or multitasking. Symptoms such as these underscore the importance of addressing mental wellbeing alongside physical health during the cancer journey.

  8. Post-traumatic stress symptoms: Traumatic experiences related to cancer diagnosis and treatment can result in post-traumatic stress symptoms, such as intrusive thoughts, flashbacks, or hyper-vigilance.

  9. Difficulty coping: Coping with the emotional and physical challenges of cancer treatment can feel overwhelming at times. Some individuals may struggle to cope at times, leading to increased stress and emotional distress.

It's essential to understand that there's no 'right' way to feel, and each person copes in their unique manner. Many others grapple with similar feelings and experiences and reaching out for support can make a significant difference in navigating this journey. It's also not uncommon for partners, family members, and friends to experience similar emotions alongside the individual diagnosed.

If you had an existing mental health condition before your cancer diagnosis

If you already have an existing mental health condition, a cancer diagnosis can bring about a range of psychological effects unique to your individual circumstances. It's common for people to respond differently – some may find that their mental health worsens with the added stress of a cancer diagnosis, while others may feel that it doesn't change much. Remember, your feelings can fluctuate at any point during or after treatment, and that's perfectly okay.

Following a cancer diagnosis, individuals living with a mental health condition may encounter various challenges, including:

  • Triggering of previous trauma or mental health symptoms.

  • Heightened levels of ongoing anxiety or panic.

  • Exacerbation of longstanding depression and feelings of hopelessness.

  • Sense of isolation from others.

  • Potential relapse of an addiction.

You may discover that your mental health condition impacts your approach to treatment and recovery, but know that you're not alone in navigating these challenges.

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Get in touch with our compassionate team at Schoen Clinic Chelsea in London for specialised mental health support during cancer

If you need specialised mental health support after a cancer diagnosis, during treatment or after completing treatment, our compassion team at Schoen Clinic Chelsea in London is here to help. We have appointments available in as little as 24 hours so you can begin treatment or therapy with minimal wait.

To access private treatment as swiftly as possible, simply fill out our online pre-screening questionnaire at any time to suit you.

How much does private mental health support for cancer cost?

The cost of different types of treatment, therapy or support will vary. See our full breakdown of our prices and funding options for more information or specific costs.

Psychological and emotional support for cancer patients and their families

Specialised psychosocial cancer care in London

Cancer has a profound impact not only on patients but also on their families, affecting them on psychosocial levels. Psychosocial cancer care, (which includes psychiatric oncology or psycho-oncology) is a specialised field of mental health designed to address the unique challenges faced by individuals dealing with cancer.  Bridging the gap between physical and mental health, psychosocial cancer care may involve psychiatry, psychology, or psychotherapy, depending on the needs of the individual, and works closely with medical and palliative care teams to achieve the best holistic care possible.

At Schoen Clinic Chelsea, our private mental health clinic in London, we understand the critical importance of providing specialised mental health support to individuals affected by cancer. Overwhelming scientific evidence now supports the integration of psychosocial cancer care into standard treatment protocols. By offering tailored mental health interventions, we aim to not only alleviate distress and psychosocial morbidity associated with cancer but also to enhance overall quality of life during and after treatment. Research suggests that effective psychosocial support may even contribute to improved survival rates among cancer patients.

Whether you're grappling with a recent diagnosis, navigating the complexities of treatment, or seeking support post-remission, our team of mental health experts in London stands ready to assist you. With specialised expertise in cancer care, our clinicians are dedicated to providing compassionate and comprehensive support that can make a significant difference in your healing journey. We recognise that each individual's experience with cancer is unique, and our personalised approach ensures that you receive the care and support you need to navigate this challenging time.

Our mental health clinic in London offers individuals with cancer a calming environment for treatment and therapy

At Schoen Clinic Chelsea, we provide modern amenities and specialised care for individuals and their families dealing with cancer.

We understand that receiving mental health support during cancer is a deeply personal and collaborative process, so our facilities are designed to aid that process in every way possible. We provide a variety of consultation rooms for patients in need of one-to-one counselling or therapy that are created to give them a calming and therapeutic environment.

Our day rooms are created to offer a relaxing and safe setting where patients can engage in therapeutic activities.

Our Chelsea clinic helps you undertake caring and convenient psychological therapy for cancer

Schoen Clinic Chelsea is part of an award-winning international hospital group with an enviable reputation for providing exceptional treatments for adults with mental health conditions.

Nestled in a discreet location in the heart of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, our highly specialised outpatient mental health clinic for individuals and their families with cancer has long provided assistance to people from across London and the surrounding areas.

Schoen Clinic Chelsea is located in West London just off King’s Road with excellent transport links. The nearest Tube station is Sloane Square which is served by the Circle and District lines.

Our mental health treatment clinic for cancer is also near South Kensington Tube station, which is served by the Circle, District and Piccadilly lines on the London Underground. If travelling by car there are several multi-storey car parks nearby. If you need assistance finding us please don’t hesitate to contact our team.

Coping with cancer | private mental health support for cancer in London

Mental health treatment, support and therapy at Schoen Clinic Chelsea.

Receiving a cancer diagnosis and navigating the subsequent experiences can understandably cause distress. If ongoing distress becomes difficult to manage, seeking additional support from psychological specialists may be beneficial.

Understanding and addressing the psychological aspects of cancer are crucial for providing comprehensive support to our patients. Numerous studies have underscored the effectiveness of psychosocial interventions in managing psychological challenges associated with cancer. At Schoen Clinic Chelsea our options for supporting individuals with their mental health through cancer encompass a range of therapeutic modalities tailored to meet the diverse needs of patients.

Counselling, education, coping strategies and psychological support form the foundation of our psychosocial interventions for individuals dealing with cancer. We offer specialised psychotherapy in a range of settings, including group, individual, and family therapy. Our therapists draw on a range of treatment models including CBT, embodied psychotherapy, mindfulness-based stress reduction programs, and integrative and psychodynamic therapies.

London mental health specialists with expertise in supporting individuals with cancer

At Schoen Clinic Chelsea we have a team of Consultant Psychiatrists with specialist expertise in the mental health challenges experienced by individuals and their families dealing with cancer. Our compassionate multidisciplinary team also includes psychologists and psychotherapists offering specialised psychological services for individuals affected by cancer at any stage of their care.

Your Consultant Psychiatrist at Schoen Clinic Chelsea can collaborate closely with your cancer doctors and nurses to address your psychological needs from diagnosis through treatment and beyond. Our services cater to individuals with any cancer diagnosis, at any stage of their care and at any time post-completion of treatment.

This webpage was reviewed by Dr Greg Shields, Consultant Psychiatrist and Cancer Specialist Psychiatrist on 16/05/2024. Next review date: 16/05/2025

Dr James Woolley

Consultant Psychiatrist | ADHD Specialist

Dr James Woolley

Dr Greg Shields

Consultant Psychiatrist and Cancer Specialist Psychiatrist

Dr Greg Shields
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