About Cancer

How to maintain mental balance while going through cancer treatment ?

Mental Balance

Cancer treatment journey can be very emotional , fearful and filled with anxiety and maintaining mental balance can be difficult.

As a practising oncologist, I have picked up few tricks by hearing experiences of patients and families and share some of these with you.

  • Stay away from friends and relatives who increase your anxiety and stress. Rather surround yourself with positive and encouraging people. Reduce your friend’s circle to those who are actually helpful. Maintain your positive circle.
  • Don’t over discuss your health issues with everyone. Sometimes their advises can pull down your morale. Discuss medical issues only with your doctors.
  • Follow some hobby. One of my breast cancer patient told me that she loves to do crochet and created bags, purses, stoles etc with crochet while going through chemotherapy and radiation therapy. She says it kept her busy as well as her mind was a bit diverted away from thoughts of cancer. Her creativity gave her a lot of happiness and satisfaction. She further says that unlike other patients she did not get neuropathy or numbness in fingers which often occurs in cancer patients while on chemotherapy- this is probably as her hands were constantly engaged probably her blood circulation was better maintained and she could avoid neuropathy. Many patients say that they love to do art work, painting etc while in therapy. I read on Facebook about a lady who continued her classical dance shows while going through cancer treatment. So the advise is not to follow anyone’s footsteps rather do what you can and whatever you enjoy to do. 
  • Go for your job. If you are a working person, consider going for your job for few hours on your good days ( after consulting your oncologist) or work online if possible. 
  • Do some small chores like watering plants, making a cup of tea, folding clothes etc to keep oneself active and engaged. One of my elderly patients told me that he would clean and tidy up his cupboards at home to keep himself busy. It would give him satisfaction as well better sleep.
  • Any form of exercise and yoga give us happy hormones. Try and do some  walk everyday even if it’s inside your house. Keep some goals like 2000-5000 steps daily depending on your stamina. Pranayama or breathing exercises also energise us And can be done in sitting or even in lying down position. Even on your bad days try and do some body stretching exercises. 
  • Keep your self hydrated as this also improves energy levels and washes away toxins.
  • Positive affirmations and journal writing helps. There are patients who swear that how both these things helped them overcome fear and anxiety. Try and cultivate aura of gratitude around yourself.
  • Watch comedy shows or light engaging movies or TV shows.
  • Look forward and have a plan as to what you would do after completing your treatment as this also helps you keep going.
  • Consider small  vacations even while on treatment after consultation with your oncologist.
  • Join cancer support group. Support groups work like therapy as you get to meet and hear from people who are either on the same path of treatment or may be ahead of you and already completed treatment. These peers can often understand what you are actually going through and can give you some practical tips and perspectives on your challenges. 
  • Dress well through your treatment journey. Dressing up well also boosts your confidence and energy. I had a patient who had lost her after cancer chemotherapy. She used to wear a different style of scarfs, caps , headgear every day when she would come for radiation treatment and feel happy about it. 
  • Read / listen to books.


Navigating the emotional and physical challenges of cancer treatment can indeed be daunting, but with the right strategies and support, maintaining mental balance is achievable. By surrounding yourself with positive influences, engaging in hobbies, staying active, and finding joy in small daily activities, you can foster resilience and hope. Remember, it’s crucial to prioritize your mental well-being alongside your physical health. Embrace the journey with courage, seek support when needed, and never underestimate the power of a positive mindset. Your strength and determination are your greatest allies in this fight.


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