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HCG organises session to spread awareness on professional psychological assistance to cancer patients

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COPER an aegis of HCG would like to bring psychological needs of cancer patients, their families to the fore

On World Mental Health Day, HCG – organised a session to bring about conscious awareness and highlight the importance to facilitate professional psychological assistance to cancer patients and their families. Therefore, international agencies such as International Psycho-oncology Society (IPOS), UICC including WHO has endorsed the emotional well-being of cancer patients as the 6th vital sign and recommend integrating psycho-oncology into mainstream cancer care.

Dr Brindha Sitaram, Group Director, Psycho-oncology Service said, “Cancer brings with it tremendous psychological distress to cancer patients and their families. Nearly three out of five cancer patients experience severe psychological distress warranting professional psychological intervention. A nationwide study in India showed that nearly 92 per cent of cancer patients experience psychological distress of varying magnitude. According to the 2019 report cancer patients have a fourfold risk of suicide compared to the general population. This risk is potentially preventable if we address the psychological needs of cancer patients and their families. Psycho-oncology addresses the psychological issues and concerns of cancer patients and their families and must be integrated into mainstream cancer care.

Dr BS Ajaikumar, Chairman and CEO, HealthCare Global, addressing on World Mental Health Day said, “Cancer not only affects the body but also has a profound psychological impact like anxiety and depression throughout the cancer journey and beyond. Cancer care professionals need to address the emotional needs of their patients and refer them to qualified mental health professionals. Early detection of emotional difficulties of patients can lead to a better quality of life and treatment outcomes.”

In India, to meet this ultimate objective, it is imperative that the professional care providers (oncologists, nurses, mental health professionals) must be sensitised to emotional needs of cancer patients and de-stigmatise the psychological needs for cancer patients and their families.

On this World Mental Health Day 2019, Centre of Psycho-oncology for Education and Research (COPER), an aegis of HealthCare Global, Bengaluru, would like to bring the psychological needs of cancer patients and their families to the fore.

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