A diverse support group sitting in a circle

Provision of Psychosocial Support

Last updated: August 2022

Psychosocial support can be an overlooked slice of cancer care. It is not a lavish service but a much-needed fragment for better emotional and physical health of cancer patients and their caregivers. The invaluable work from the experienced and professional counselors is a worthy addition to cancer care.

Assigning a social worker

The cancer center where I reside has psychosocial support for every cancer group. Most professional counselors are available to help patients and their family members cope with the range of emotions and adjustments that come with a diagnosis of cancer as well as the bereavement part of a cancer journey.

Invitation to patients and caregivers

At diagnosis, Support Services are offered to all patients and their families. The specialists are trained to help the patients and their families in coping with emotional, psychological, social, and spiritual stresses that often come as a result of cancer and its treatment. In addition, communication is key to promoting these services.

Communicating with patients and caregivers

From the beginning of the cancer journey, we know there is extra support readily available to cancer patients as well as their families. The support services are communicated through the counselors-psychosocial oncology clinician (PSO). They connect the patients and their families to all available support services.

Moderating support groups

Due to COVID, the regular meeting has changed to an online meeting. When a group of cancer patients and their caregivers come together, there is an instant connection. We immediately can relate the experiences from diagnosis and while living with lung cancer. There are constant exchanges of hope and encouragement. The main responsibility of the social worker in charge is to make sure the support group is up and running.

Inviting relevant cancer specialists

The cancer care center where I live has cancer specialists who are willing to share their expertise with patients and their loved ones. The local cancer specialists can cover common treatments, palliative care, clinical trials, radiation surgery, thoracic surgery, and biomarker testing. As local experts, they bring a positive impact on the lives of cancer patients.

Regular cancer care newsletter

The newsletter’s purpose is to paint the action the cancer care center has to offer to cancer patients and their caregivers both in the community and nationally. In addition, there are also mentions of cancer education, wellness, screening, and cancer research grants. The voice of patients becomes part of the regular newsletter.

Coping with cancer hits everyone differently. Others can manage but most of us need psychosocial support. The supportive space can help process emotions related to the cancer experience. I am grateful for the variety of support groups and services during my cancer journey.

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