RESILIENCE helps you survive cancer with a strong heart

Resilience and cancer: a relationship key to face the disease’s psychological effects

According to the Royal Spanish Academy, resilience is the “adaptation capacity of a living being in the face of a disturbing agent or an adverse state or situation” or the “capacity of a material, mechanism or system to recover its initial state when it has ceased the disturbance to which it had been subjected.”

But what role does resilience play in cancer and why do we talk about it?

Cancer is a disease that psychologically affects the person who suffers from it and can also afflict the people around them. Therefore, adopting a resilient attitude to face it can not only reduce these psychological effects, but also contribute to your recovery.

How does cancer affect psychologically?

The diagnosis of cancer involves a high emotional impact full of changes and uncertainty. In this situation, feeling anxiety, irritability, apathy, sadness, depression, fear or denial are common feelings among cancer patients.
However, many of these feelings can harm recovery from cancer, forming a vicious circle that might be difficult to handle.

To prevent this from happening, it is essential to have social, medical and psychological support. Leaning on your loved ones and health professionals will help you feel accompanied, understand your situation and identify your feelings.

Another essential tool is to have compassion and empathy with yourself. Allow yourself to feel bad without guilt and, as the Spanish Cancer Association emphasizes, we must be clear that “cancer is not a fight and, to be resilient in the face of an oncological process, we must move away from warlike metaphors.”

Remember that it is important to rely on health professionals to understand more about the disease. Thanks to them, you will be able to have more knowledge about it and, therefore, you will have more resources to face the situation. In addition, you will reduce uncertainty, as well as other negative feelings such as anxiety.

The study that relates the benefits of resilience to overcoming cancer

A study from the University of Malaga has investigated the benefits of facing the disease with resilience and, although it does not refer to the entire cancer population, it concludes the following:

  • Empirical evidence shows that more resilient people have better psychological adjustment after a cancer diagnosis.
  • Resilience stands out as a necessary skill to promote readaptation to life as quickly and easily as possible.
  • Psychological intervention and support aimed at promoting resilience is emerging as an essential tool for the quality of life of the cancer patient and the survivor.

For all this, resilience can be a great ally and this is one of the reasons why we named RESILIENCE to this research project in which we work to help people survive cancer with a strong heart; in addition to being the acronym for REmote iSchemic condItioning in Lymphoma PatIents REceiving ANthraCyclinEs.

And for you, what is resilience? Tell us on our social networks @resilienceH2020!

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Are you a patient participating in RESILIENCE? Here you will find useful information about the details of your participation, activities specifically designed for you. You will also be able to contact RESILIENCE researchers.

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