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Complications of cancer of the bile duct

NHS Choices Medical Reference

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Coping with cancer

Being diagnosed with cancer, particularly if it is incurable, can be very distressing. For many, the news is difficult to take in and comprehend. Many people who are diagnosed with cancer experience the classic stages of the grieving process. These are outlined below.

  • Denial:  you may not believe the diagnosis at first and think that there is nothing wrong with you.
  • Anger: you may lash out at friends, family or medical staff.
  • Bargaining: sometimes people with terminal conditions will try to 'bargain' with their doctors, asking for any sort of treatment that can prolong their life.
  • Depression: you may lose all interest in life and feel that your situation is hopeless.
  • Acceptance: in time, most people will eventually accept the diagnosis.

If you have been diagnosed with cancer, talking to a counsellor or psychiatrist may help you to combat feelings of depression and anxiety. Anti-depressants, or medicines that help to reduce feelings of anxiety may also be recommended for you as you move through the grieving process.

The Useful links section includes links to cancer support organisations that can provide you with advice and support if you, or a family member, have been affected by cancer.

Medical Review: December 31, 2008

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