Psycho-Oncology And Cancer Treatment

Posted on:3,Sep'18

Posted by: CancerHelpline

Tags: Cancer Treatment


Cancer diagnosis often signifies fear & anxiety in both the patient & their family. Cancer, in popular notion signifies death, and in several cases the outcome of any intervention continues to remain uncertain.

Cancer is no longer a disease that afflicts only a few people. It has become a common reality in most Indian families. In India, every year 10 lakh new cancer patients are added (Lancet, 2014).

Diagnosis is often accompanied by many different kinds of issues. For some families, the pressures of battling the disease are severe, while some of them struggle with managing the financial burden. A lot of patients have to navigate disease management to continue life and even those who are in the post treatment stage need care.

Cancer is life-altering for the patient & family in more ways than one. Owing to the wide gamut of requirements, we need a new discipline of medicine to address these needs.

So, psycho-oncology has been put together as a discipline for both the patient & family.

How does the psycho-oncologist help?

The field of Psycho-Oncology focuses on understanding and treating cancer by considering the psychological, social, spiritual, emotional and functional aspects of cancer.
A psycho-oncologist is trained in clinical psychology, and focuses on establishing a patient-centric approach to building rapport. There are myriad of spaces where their interventions assist those going through this tough period.

A psycho-oncologist helps,
• Cope with the cancer diagnosis, and its uncertain outcome
• Manage the psychological effects of treatment better
• Clarifies and helps patient & family understand the nature of the disease, and makes them more aware
• Address issues that come up during the course of the treatment, including body image issues
• Maintain active communication between the patient, family & friends
• Support caregivers by addressing their emotional response to diagnosis, & treatment
• Support the patient to rehabilitate post treatment

In India, owing to our family-based society, the context of a cancer diagnosis is different from that of the West. With a diagnosis, spouse, and families also become involved. Our doctors also do not differentiate between patient and family. They leave it up to the caregiver to disclose the nature of the diagnosis to the patient.

So, a psycho-oncologist helps both the patient & the family. Since our set of problems is different, we cannot seek help from a professional who is based outside India.

This discipline is slowly getting entrenched in our country now. India is now seeing a new set of psycho-oncologists who are trying to change the treatment ecosystem.

Cancer Clinics is trying to spearhead this discipline in India. We do both individual and family based sessions. We offer homecare for those residing in Hyderabad, and telemedicine for those who do reside in Hyderabad.

If you know anyone that needs it, or would like to know more about it, call us on our toll free number at 1800 120 2676.

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