Counselling

Cancer- the name itself brings with it a host of emotions. Right from the diagnosis through the treatment, it is a journey of reviewing the life you led as well as thinking about how you would like it to be. Cancer in India is significant and growing. While the physical symptoms of cancer are addressed and dealt effectively with medical treatment, the emotional impact of the disease may not always be recognized or dealt with.

Patients and caregivers are often ill equipped to deal with the changes brought about by the illness. Counselling helps them recognize and deal more effectively with the changes within their body and the lifestyle changes that come with them. In addition to physical changes, cancer affects so many aspects of a person’s life including their relationships and their ability to work and pursue their hobbies. Patients are faced with intense emotions when diagnosed. It is common to experience:

It also comes with a set of positives as people with cancer diagnosis experience awareness and an appreciation of the functionality of their bodies. They also tend to have a more positive attitude and outlook to life, which they recognize is special. They experience a deep sense of gratitude for everything, clarity about the things that matter (priorities) and the meaning of life.

Most Psycho-oncology and psychosocial interventions in cancer care are primarily concerned with understanding and treating the social, psychological, emotional, spiritual, quality-of-life and functional aspects of a cancer patient -right from prevention through bereavement.  The psychological responses experienced by the patient and their families are addressed in counselling. It is a whole person approach that deals with improving the quality of life for those affected by the disease.

Research demonstrates that psychosocial and emotional distress, which is often experienced in the form of depression or other adjustment difficulties, is a significant problem for up to half of all cancer patients (Carlson and Bultz, 2002; 2003; 2004). 

CARING FOR THE CAREGIVERS

Prashanti Cancer Care Mission established in Pune in the year 2000 is a non-profit organization that was born out of unfulfilled needs of departed cancer patients, caregivers, survivors, volunteers and doctors whose lives have been touched by cancer.It is dedicated to supporting and advancing compassionate health care delivery through surgery, radiation, chemotherapy and supporting the caregivers. In 2009, Prashanti Cancer Care Mission also established Orchids Breast Health Clinic in Pune with an objective of providing world class breast care under one roof.  This center has now gained reputation as a “Center of Affordable Excellence for Breast Care’ in India. The center has acquired cutting edge diagnostic tools such as Digital Mammography, 3D Tomosynthesis, Vaccum Assisted Biopsy andAutomated Breast Volume Scanner. Further, Orchids has created a niche by pioneering in Breast Oncoplastic Surgery in India with the help of a multi-disciplinary team of Breast Oncoplastic surgeons, Radiologists, Clinical Scientists and houses a chemotherapy daycare, counselors and nutritionists.

‘The Pink Ribbon Club’, our support group for patients and caregivers hand holds patients and caregivers through the bewildering maze of challenges the disease brings to its wake, preparing them for a normal life after treatment. These volunteers and caregivers -often-unsung heroes- provide hours of assistance to patients by volunteering their time at our in-house chemotherapy daycare and even during ongoing surgeries and radiation regimes. Not only do they provide area-wise support but also support the caregivers by sending meals, dropping or picking their children from school and occasionally treating them to manicures or movies.

 Monthly activities are organized involving movies, picnics and breast awareness symposiums and holistic activities such as yoga for the caregivers.  In addition, an annual breast cancer awareness marathon is organized in Pune to bring patients and caregivers together. Through these activities, survivors and newly-diagnosed patients are provided a platform and encouraged to share their experiences with each other. The caregivers are encouraged to appreciate the importance of looking after their own mental and physical well-being in addition to those of the patients.

Through counseling, our Oncopsychology course empowers caregivers that is held at regular intervals for those who wish to acquire skills in counseling and rehabilitation. In addition, Orchids has also started nutrition counseling activities to educate the patients and caregivers about the importance of correct nutrition and looking after themselves in order to ensure a healthy lifestyle thereby improving their quality of life.

This year, out of 10,800 patients around 2400 have received free treatments and 5000 survivors have voluntarily created a strong network of caregivers.  Prashanti Cancer Care Mission remains committed to continuously strengthening the selfless efforts of our caregivers by providing them unstinting psychological and financial support. It is only timely and appropriate that in addition to the contributions of clinical and para-clinical teams in cancer management , the selfless efforts of such caregivers be given its due recognition and respect.

Activities


Coping With Cancer

 




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