Support, wellbeing and aid for cancer patients
A diagnosis of cancer is always upsetting and bewildering for the patient and the patient's family. The illness affects the patient's physical as well as mental wellbeing. Several measures are available to support the patient's overall wellbeing before, during and after cancer treatment.
Cancer is a serious condition and may give rise to anxiety and fear. The treating physician may refer the patient to the psychiatric outpatient clinic for counsel with a psychiatrist, psychologist or psychiatric nurse. A psychotherapist is available for families with children.
The treatment of cancer may cause some degree of disability and, if this is the case, the patient may apply for appropriate aids from primary or specialized health care.
Aids that cancer patients may need are, for example:
- breast implant after breast cancer surgery
- wig, if treatment has caused hair loss
- supportive sleeve or stocking if the disease or its treatment has caused persistent swelling of the arm or leg.
You may ask for further information from your health care provider.
Our service division
produces therapy, expert and assistive technology services to patients, Tyks operational divisions, public utilities of the hospital district and other co-operative parties.
Rehabilitation counseling provides services to support disabled persons and their families in managing everyday living independently.
The social workers provide advice in matters of social security and benefits. The social workers also help patients in filling in application forms.
There are ways to improve the everyday wellbeing of patients with a chronic disease. A normal, balanced diet and light exercise benefit the quality of life. If needed, a nutrition therapist or a physiotherapist may be consulted.
A sexual counselor provides advice and guidance in matters related to sexuality.
The hospital chaplain is there for questions and guidance in spiritual matters. The chaplain supports patients who are concerned about the illness and fear its consequences, and is available also when words are of no avail.
Quitting smoking is important for preventing and treating cancer. The prognosis of non-smokers is often better than of smokers and smoking impairs the effect of cancers treatments. A nurse specialized in smoking withdrawal may help in quitting the habit.
The addiction care outpatient clinic may be consulted if you feel that you need help to combat problems of alcohol and drug addiction. During cancer treatment with medicines (chemotherapy) alcohol should be avoided.
See also: Information Desk, Cancer Society of South-West Finland.
Peer support has been found to be very important for people who fall ill with a serious disease. Personal peer support is available by consulting cancer and patient organizations. Several associations organize also various rehabilitation and recreation courses.
If you need more support in your life situation, please come forward and talk with your doctor or nurse.
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