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Roswell Park helps cancer patients who may experience depression

Posted at 6:24 PM, May 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-03 18:24:38-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Cancer patients who may be experiencing symptoms of depression could benefit from out-patient psycho-therapy at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Roswell Park offers Palliative care, which is specialized care for people living with a serious illness, like cancer.

Experts say cancer can go beyond just the physical symptoms and physical treatments for patients.

Dr. Jennifer Hydeman, a medical psychologist with Roswell Park, said it's normal and common to feel sadness after such a life-changing event.

She said for some patients, that sadness can turn into depression, and that can happen when they're getting treatments for months on end.

"That whole time they're basically removed from their normal life," she said. "Whether it's used to going to work everyday or interacting with their family in a certain way - whatever their daily routine is. They're really kind of removed from that, and to do that month after month can feel very strange and very isolating for a lot of patients."

Palliative care also extends to patients' loved ones, who also experience stress or symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Dr. Hydeman said she works with patients on how to remain engaged in their life, and in things they find meaningful.

She said some patients can benefit from support groups or one-on-one therapy sessions.