TopMedTalk in Collaboration with MacMillan Cancer Support in the UK developed this podcast series to support patients during their cancer journey amidst the COVID 19 crisis.

“It’s very normal to sit with some difficult thoughts and feelings” after a cancer diagnosis. Broadly there are two types of mindsets; anxiety, which can be helpful, an element of wanting to ‘do something’ and, on the other hand, low mood, a feeling of not wanting to do anything, this can be unhelpful if not addressed at a certain level. We should expect both of these mindsets the question is ‘how does the latest scientific research show can we control them’? Your body and mind are not separate, one effects the other, this is why it is so important we look at mental health as part of an overall approach.

“You can do quite a lot of things […] that put you into a better mood”; exercise, meditation, even simple breathing exercises. Spending time communicating with friends and family is another suggestion.

Recorded at the height of the COVID 19 crisis this podcast also reflects upon how this is applied in the context of a global pandemic; how important is it that people engage with online facilities and opportunities to maintain relationships? “In an odd way the relationships seem to intensify”.

It’s not about ignoring negative feelings though, anxiety and low mood are very common for people with a cancer diagnosis. Hear how it is important to allow yourself to reflect, part of understanding your mental health is about regaining control, we are allowed to let ourselves feel difficult thoughts as part of the process of monitoring and working with them.

This podcast also contains a reminder about the importance of goal setting in allowing people to regain control over their lives. Small, realistic and specific, short term goals are useful at this particular stage of life; “start with the thing you are most confident you are able to change […] make a day and a time that you’ll stick to”.

Presented by Nick Margerrison with his guests Judit Varkonyi-Sepp psychologist, psychology lead for the Wesfit prehabilitation programme and Chloe Grimmett, behavioural scientist and lead for Wesfit prehabilitation.

For more information, in the UK, phone: 0808 808 00 00

Email: CancerPrehabilitation@macmillan.org.uk

Twitter: @macmillancancersupport