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More and More Cancer Patients Suffering From Survivor’s Guilt

Jaclyn Hughes

Anyone who has been through a battle with cancer is a warrior in many regards. No cancer diagnosis or treatment plan is ever easy, but once you see the light at the end of the tunnel, it certainly makes it a totally worthwhile journey you’ve accomplished. Sadly though, some celebrations are shortly lived as millions of cancer warriors live every day with survivor’s guilt.

Survivor’s guilt occurs when someone has lived through an event such as being deployed in the military and other soldiers not making it back home, which in turn, often equates a bout of survivor’s guilt to kick in. People are naturally curious as to why they survived and others have not, and this is so incredibly common in cancer patients. It’s a safe generalization that just about everyone knows someone in their life that has been through cancer or has been recently diagnosed. Once becoming a cancer patient, you almost automatically become introduced to tons of others who are fighting a similar battle and then it’s only a normal emotion to start questioning why they’ve been spared such a tragedy with their own fight.

The Advertiser revealed that folks at the Lung Cancer Alliance have advised that some 66% of the 108 cancer patients researched had reported that they live with this exact type of guilt. Representatives of the Alliance spoke about this emotional guilt being initially reported way back in 1947. As you can presume, recent decades have gotten more support groups and resources available to help identify this feeling, and treat it as best as possible.

Often, the best medicine for survivor’s guilt is to get involved. Millions of patients who have been fortunate enough to live through their cancer journeys often volunteer for local cancer charities, or hold events to earn donations for organizations that may be very important to them personally. Meeting or speaking to other patients still very much in the thick of their cancer treatments can be extremely therapeutic for all involved.

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