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NCCN Guidelines for Patients


Breast Cancer - Early-Stage


, Version 1.2016


Treatment planning

Distress screening

Distress screening

Distress is an unpleasant emotional state that

may affect how you feel, think, and act. It can

include feelings of unease, sadness, worry, anger,

helplessness, guilt, and so forth. Everyone with

cancer has some distress at some point in time. It is

normal to feel sad, fearful, and helpless.

Feeling distressed may be a minor problem or it may

be more serious. You may be so distressed that you

can’t do the things you used to do. Serious or not, it

is important that your treatment team knows how you

feel. They may ask you to complete a list of screening

questions to assess how distressed you are.

If needed, your treatment team can get you help.

Help can include support groups, talk therapy,

or medication. Some people also feel better by

exercising, talking with loved ones, or relaxing. There

may also be helpful community resources, such as

support groups and wellness centers.