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Spirituality can be defined as one’s purpose, beliefs about the meaning of life, sense of peace and connection to others/ a higher power. Spirituality may be found or expressed through religion for some.

When a person is diagnosed with cancer, it is not uncommon that he/she may question why it happened, or why it happened to him/her. A cancer diagnosis often represents a crisis for many, which causes one to question the meaning of one’s life, illness and suffering. While some emerge from the crisis with new life lessons and a renewed sense of purpose, others may struggle a little more with reconciling their diagnosis with their existing beliefs. Some problems one may experience can include:

• Feeling angry about the diagnosis
• Feeling like you have lost your sense of self-identity and role in life
• Feeling that you have no control over what happens in life
• Feeling like everything you have done thus far to be futile
• Feeling lost


Please inform your cancer care team and request for a referral to a social worker/ psychologist (if you’re not already seeing one) if you experience any of the above problems and find that it is affecting your day to day functioning, coping and/or relationships.

See NCSS’ write up at https://www.nccs.com.sg/patient-care/pages/spirituality-and-faith.aspx for tips on how to manage spiritual distress.


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