Cancer Survivors Find Support
Source: Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal has published an article on support groups and other wellness programs for cancer survivors. As more and more people are surviving cancer, there is concern that doctors and other medical professionals are not doing enough to support the psychological health of the survivors. Study after study has shown that support groups offer survivors the psychological support they need to return to their everyday lives. Because of these findings, cancer-advocacy groups, major cancer centers, insurance companies and oncology medical societies are all exploring expanded programs to better meet the total needs of patients and survivors. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) has developed a series of models and screening mechanisms to enable health-care providers to better understand the psychological states of their patients. Because oncologists are rarely trained in the non-medical aspects of treatment, the IOM hopes its models will enable a more open dialogue between a doctor and his or her patient.
In all cases, it’s clear that treating cancer isn’t just treating the biological aspects of the disease. Treating patients means being attuned to their total needs. While the medical aspects of treatment are certainly the most important, doctors and care providers should also be motivated to help patients find the social and psychological support they crave as well.