There is general agreement that spirituality means a connection with a larger reality that gives one’s life meaning. This may be important to you during your cancer journey.

Some find renewed strength in a higher power as they go through the process and deal with their feelings. Others might question these beliefs. Studies have found that struggles over spiritual concerns are prevalent among cancer survivors, and the younger they are, the more they suffer over this. For many, talking to a religious leader or a trained counsellor can help identify those spiritual needs and find spiritual support.

Counsellors that recognize the importance of existential concerns in oncology may assess the spiritual dimension of patients by asking questions related to identity and self-worth (“What is my place in the world?”), hope (“What can I hope for?”), meaning/purpose (“What is most important in life?”), and relatedness (“Who can I count on?”).

According to the American Cancer Society, spiritual practices can help connection to others, to the present moment, and to the world beyond. Meditation, mindfulness, practicing gratitude, helping others, and spending time in nature are just a few of the many ways that people address spiritual needs.