Remember my previous blog post on the importance of talking?
I ended the post with “let’s talk”. These are some replies I received:
jasper goh: Your friend is fragile can. Where got people suicide over having affair? It is to be celebrated! Cancer is different though. A few years back, one of my best buddy whom I play soccer with was diagnosed with lung cancer. He was devastated and saw his world crashing. Didn’t know how to break it to his family and was going suicidal worrying about their livelihood. That is scary.
emtee: Cancer is something hard to talk about………..
Lao Uncle: The flash mob like staged but the issue on cancer is real.
Death and life-threatening topics like cancer are not subjects which most of us would be comfortable sharing and talking about. Yet, we do need to learn how to confront tough situations like these.
When I picture myself suddenly diagnosed with cancer, I would not know what to do next. How should I break the news to my family and loved ones? How would they react?
Beyond financial concerns on treatment and medical bills, what would be the emotional impact on the happiness and wellbeing of my family?
Medical researches show that a staggering 15 and 40% of cancer patients develop clinical anxiety and/or depression. Yes, they kind of go hand-in-hand when you are at the lowest period in your life.
Advancements in psychosocial care has not been keeping up with biomedical care. There is a general lack of understanding of psychosocial needs and the failure to recognise psychological effects of cancer such as stress and depression.
A simple term would be the need to “talk” about cancer and deal with it mentally and socially, not just for oneself, but for our loved ones too.
There is a lack of awareness regarding holistic care for cancer patients in the society, where families and patients only focus on the medical treatment, and ignore the emotional and mental well-being of the patient during cancer. There is a lack of awareness of available support resources, and most patients do not seek psychological counselling at initial diagnosis stage.
This would be especially important to help alleviate anxiety and fear upon diagnosis, and going through the battle of cancer. Little thought is also put into the aftercare treatment that cancer patients must go through – TCM, hair loss treatment, dietician services, and reconstructive surgery…to help them get back on track.
Cancer treatment can be a life-long process.
Holistic care reduces psychological distress regarding diagnosis of cancer, reduces psychological distress regarding impending curative surgery, reduces subjective experience of pain and physical symptoms after surgery, and even reduces nausea and vomiting after chemotherapy.
With 14 people dying of cancer in Singapore daily, it is important to help cancer patients not just deal with the financial aspects of cancer diagnosis and treatment, but to effectively cope with the disease.
I ended with “let’s talk” in my previous blog.
Now that we have talked, I hope this post helped to get you thinking about the taboo topic of cancer and a more holistic approach to dealing with it.
AXA recently introduced a 360° Cancer Cancer Care program – the first holistic cancer management plan in Singapore which takes care of your financial, practical and emotion needs that might arise before, during and after cancer treatment.
Here is a short intro video:
Here’s a glance of the benefits offered under the plan:
The announcement of this holistic cancer management plan has generated much buzz, including a media report here on my paper on 30 August 2013 (我国首个全方位癌症保险中医辅助疗法也可索偿).