Symptoms and Signs of Cancer-Related Post-traumatic Stress

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 3/21/2019

Doctor's Notes on Cancer-Related Post-traumatic Stress

Cancer-related post-traumatic stress (PTS) is a disorder related to the diagnosis/treatment of cancer in an individual; it is similar to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) but not as severe and does not last as long. Signs and symptoms include depression, anxiety, phobias, panic disorders, feeling defensive, irritable or fearful, unable to think clearly, avoiding people, sleeping problems and loss of interest in living.

Stress may cause the appearance of symptoms but even certain sights, smells or sounds can also trigger PTS symptoms. For example, the sight of an IV bag may trigger anxiety as the individual may recall negative effects of chemotherapy.

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REFERENCE:

Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.