A cancer diagnosis often throws a person out of balance in every aspect of life. It is never easy, not just for the patients, but for their caregivers as well. There is suddenly a myriad of decisions to make about treatments and recovery. For example, it can be daunting to deal with the numerous medical appointments or experiencing side effects from treatment. But one part of the cancer process that often gets pushed aside is the psychological aspect – how does one manage the many emotional and mental toll that comes with it?
There are some things you can never really prepare for. In a flash, life takes a sharp turn and your life becomes that of another. Of course, not every cancer diagnosis is the same and neither are people’s reactions towards it. Outcomes of treatment can range from complete recovery to best supportive care, depending on type and stage of cancer as well as existing health issues.
Cells are the basic building blocks of all living things. Normal healthy cells grow and divide in an orderly manner, so that growth and repair of the body tissue can take place.
However, when genetic changes interfere with this orderly process, cells start to grow uncontrollably to form a tumour that may possess the ability to invade and spread to other parts of the body. Such cells are termed cancer cells.
There are more than 200 different types of cancer; each of which is diagnosed and treated in a particular way. Depending on the type, stage and overall health of an individual, treatment options vary between one or a combination of the following: Surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, hormonal therapy, biological therapy and stem cell transplantation.
Side effects occur when treatment damages healthy cell. The extent and duration can vary widely among individuals. Here are the more common side effects of cancer treatment as well as a few recommendations that can improve a patient’s quality of life, outlook, and overall mood on the road to recovery!
Regardless of prognosis, there are ways to address and manage your loved ones’ reactions so that their focus can be directed towards treating their condition. Below are examples of therapies and support groups that patients and their families can explore to help them along the journey of rehabilitation.
Research has shown that drawing, painting and playing music have proved to be ways to help cancer patients express and cope with difficult feelings. Everyone has a talent they can tap into! As long as you provide all the tools and instruments, your loved ones can enjoy the healing benefits of art whether they’re at home or in groups.
Being an active participant in one’s own health care can help allay anxiety and stress levels. “Understanding the process, how treatments will work, and how they will affect you in terms of side effects and recovery removes the mystery of what to expect and gives you a greater sense of control,” says Dr. Peteet. The National Cancer Centre Singapore (NCCS) and National Cancer Institute of Singapore (NCIS) have a wide range of resources available online ranging from the basics of cancer to recommendations provided by experts.
“Your cancer journey: You’re not alone.” Rely on SingHealth and NCCS for a comprehensive range of support services and resources to help connect a community of individuals dealing with debilitating diseases like cancer. They are very important in terms of providing psychosocial support for cancer patients and their families. Here’s a list of the more popular self-help groups in Singapore:
Need to speak to someone about non-medical issues? The Singapore Cancer Society (SCS) and NCCS have a team of counsellors and social workers, who are specially trained to help you cope with your emotion upheaval and assist with accessing of relevant information, financial resources and support groups along your cancer journey.
Advancements in cancer therapeutics and early detection have created opportunities for outpatient treatments and shorter hospital stays. Therefore, the responsibility for care of cancer patients is falling increasingly on family members. Here are some resources to help you navigate through this period of uncertainty and adjustment.
Worried about not having adequate clinical knowledge while caring for a family member at home? Ninkatec strives to make healthcare easily accessible for everyone right at home. Powered by artificial intelligence technology, Ninkatec provides round-the-clock remote monitoring supported by an experienced team of healthcare professionals who are able to provide medical services and clinical advices at any time.
Certainly, keeping our loved ones at home in the company of family members is usually the preferred choice for most of us. It is well-known that most caregivers eventually experience strain and stresses of having to learn how to and perform care for a cancer patient at home. For that, Ninkatec’s care plan also provides personalised and curated care for your loved ones based on their needs. Let Ninkatec ease your caregiver stresses by enquiring more about their services which include remote monitoring devices, provision of medical/nursing procedures and doctors home visits! Plus, let your loved ones receive professional medical care while having the ease of recovering in familiar surroundings!
Recognizing the increasing need of healthcare services in view of ageing population and increased life expectancy, major efforts are ramped up to expand on the home care sector in Singapore. Need assistance post discharge from the hospital? Is your caregiver away and you require assistance for care of your loved ones at home? Consider exploring the range of support services that Ninkatec can bring to the comforts of your own home!