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But if 5 or more of these symptoms happen nearly every day for 2 weeks or more, or are severe enough to interfere with normal activities, it might be depression.

If this is the case, encourage the person to be checked for clinical depression by a qualified health or mental health professional.

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While going through a wide range of emotions is a normal part of coping with cancer, some things should not be ignored.

If the patient or someone close to them has any of these problems, please get help right away: Cancer changes people’s lives.

People with cancer find it encouraging to have others who listen and help with the practical aspects of dealing with cancer.

Asking family members and loved ones for this kind of support may help reduce the patient’s distress and the distress of those who care about him or her.

Treatments can reduce suffering and improve quality of life.

Some of these symptoms, such as weight changes, fatigue, or even forgetfulness can be caused by the cancer itself and its treatment. Still, some people with cancer feel guilty for being sad or fearful, and may try to act happy and “be positive” even when it’s painful to them.If this might be happening, gently tell the person that you’re willing to listen to their feelings, no matter what they are.Some people might put up a false front, or put on a “happy face,” even if they don’t really feel that way.This may be their way of trying to protect the people they love, and possibly themselves, from painful feelings.The message may be something like, “I care about you, and I’m here for you whether you are happy, afraid, angry, or sad.” Being able to talk with the cancer care team about concerns such as fears, pain, and other issues may help the patient feel more comfortable.

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