For some people, religion and spirituality may be two distinct concepts. A cancer survivor might think of himself or herself as religious, spiritual, both, or neither. Often times, religious and spiritual beliefs are an important coping mechanism for cancer survivors.
Several studies have revealed the benefits of religion and spirituality to individuals experiencing cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute, some benefits may include decreased anxiety, reduced isolation, limited drug or alcohol intake, and improvements in overall wellbeing. However, spirituality and religion might also cause distress. In some cultures, a cancer diagnosis can be viewed as a punishment or seen as the result of one’s wrongdoing.
Since religion and spirituality can mean different things for different people, it is important to remember all of these perspectives when discussing the concepts among cancer survivors, families, and friends.
Spiritual support and connection may be need when dealing with:
- A new cancer diagnosis
- Cancer recurrence
- Treatment decisions
- Progressive illness
- Spiritual unrest and distress
Spiritual support can be sought and received in many ways. Some ideas may be:
- If you are currently being treated at a hospital, you may consider seeing the onsite chaplain.
- Seeking an appointment with a palliative care department. Palliative care focuses on improving the quality of care for those with serious illnesses.
- Speaking to a leader within your place of worship.
- Seeking a cancer ministry. These are available at many organizations and churches.
- Prayer and meditation.
Georgia CORE is constantly adding more resources for spirituality, find them by clicking here.
Last Updated: 10/30/2020 3:02:08 PM