Young People's Spiritual Journey with Cancer

Yayın Tarihi | 07 June 2024, Friday

Cancer and its complex treatments have a profound impact on the mental, existential, and spiritual well-being of adolescents and young adults (AYA), affecting their ability to find meaning in life. More than a million new oncological diagnoses are made each year worldwide in adolescents and young adults. Since adolescence and young adulthood often offer a long life expectancy, facing a potentially fatal disease like cancer can pose significant challenges. In these situations, individuals may often turn to religious beliefs and spiritual values for comfort and guidance.


Spirituality is seen as a source of adaptation, coping, and hope in the face of physical, psychological, and mental challenges brought on by the disease for young people and young adults with cancer. Religion and spirituality differ in practice; religion is organized and community-based, while spirituality involves a personal and emotional context. However, both play vital roles in individuals' lives, providing comfort and support when needed. The spiritual dimension is important for maintaining well-being and stability, and individualized spiritual care is considered a fundamental component of contemporary health practices for individuals with cancer. This promotes better adaptation, increased comfort, and a positive approach to life's challenges.


The aim of this study is to explore the spiritual experiences of young people and young adults with cancer and to reveal the transformative effect of spirituality on coping mechanisms and life perspectives during the treatment process. This study, which investigates this issue for the first time in Turkey using grounded theory, reveals the profound effects of spiritual well-being on individuals battling cancer, demonstrating how spiritual growth facilitates positive behavioral changes and a renewed perspective on life after diagnosis.


Cancer and Spiritual Support: Renewal of Youth

Participants emphasized the importance of religious practices in promoting hope and psychological well-being as they revealed their deep connections with spirituality after a cancer diagnosis. The findings highlight the importance of quality spiritual care in health settings to enhance mental health and overall well-being. This provides a valuable resource for adolescents and young adults on the complex journey of cancer treatment and self-discovery, ultimately contributing to a holistic approach in health practices.


Young people diagnosed with cancer have found a source of hope that aids their coping mechanisms by turning to spirituality. This spiritual journey emphasizes the transformative power of spirituality in guidance and self-reconstruction. Following their diagnoses, participants deepened their spiritual connections and emphasized the importance of religious practices during this process. The need for quality spiritual care to enhance mental well-being highlights the importance of specialized interventions in clinical settings.


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