NCCN Guidelines for Patients
Breast Cancer - Early-Stage
(STAGES I AND II)
, Version 1.2016
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.