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Cancer Care Beyond the Cancer

A diagnosis of cancer is terrifying and something that around 1.4 million of us can expect to hear this year. More frightening is that in recent years cancer beat heart disease as the number one killer in this country. There is good news on the horizon. Increased education about cancer prevention has caused the number of U.S. lives lost to cancer to fall by 2.1 % each year between 2002 and 2004 — almost twice the 1.1% annual rate of decline noted between 1993 and 2002.

But statistics can only be so comforting, especially since overcoming cancer is ultimately about the numbers – will you be in the percentage that will beat the disease? For how long?

Fortunately, medical experts are realizing that cancer doctors need to be taught that helping a person deal with cancer is not just about the appropriate treatment regimen or medicines. The Institute of Medicine has released a report calling on oncologists to identify and help patients through the emotional side of fighting the disease: the psychological and social problems that if not addressed can cause the patient to feel overwhelmed and not take timely action.

For more on this:

NEW STANDARD CALLS FOR “WHOLE” CANCER CARE
by Kathleen Fackelmann
USA TODAY
October 23, 2007

{ 1 comment… add one }
  • marcy March 1, 2008, 3:47 pm

    What has to happen to get from “report recommending” to standard of care? Do oncologists police themselves? Is there a professional organization which provides required seminars for continued certification on these issues for the specialists?

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