Childhood Cancer

Childhood Cancer Survivors

Emotional expression and health

Emotions—of all kinds—are inevitably part of experiencing cancer and cancer survivorship. Being able to recognize your feelings and find healthy ways of expressing, channeling, and learning from them are keys to a balanced life. Not having tools for managing emotions can make life more difficult. Research has shown that survivors with high levels of psychological distress are more likely to engage in risky health behaviors such as smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol. Obviously, unhealthy habits can complicate and worsen late effects from cancer treatment. So, in addition to the value of seeking support from healthcare professionals and networks of people with similar experiences, some of the other tools you may find helpful in dealing with strong emotions include blogging or journaling, physical activity, meditation, and yoga. Chapter 5 , includes more information about this topic.