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Fighting through cancer with your family


Fighting through cancer with your family

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Inspire is delighted to have teamed up with Expat Life magazine to bring you more great content to do with Thailand

Family plays a pivotal role in our daily life by being with us through thick and thin: going shopping, spending Christmas or festive events together, as well as crying together.

Nonetheless, the moment when we need our family most is when we fall ill, either physically or mentally. This is applicable especially to most cancer patients who are experiencing profound emotional stress, either from recent cancer diagnosis or from disease progression due to the failure of previous treatments. Cancers can be found in various range of age groups: some might be grandparents who are waiting to see their grandchildren grow into adolescents, some might be fathers who need to take care of the whole family or single mothers who are solely responsible for their young children, while others might be young boys or girls who have yet to “live their lives like there is no tomorrow”. Since cancers can typically occur in any age group, emotional support to each cancer patient should be personalised.

Family, like every social organisation, comes in various forms. Therefore, the word family should not be restricted to groups of individuals who are related by blood. While some cancer patients are more fortunate to have been born with parents, receiving full emotional support, other cases might involve individuals who were born without parents or those who are closer to friends than family. For individuals who lack emotional support from their parents, support groups might play a significant role on the patients psychologically; hence, this group of patients might consider the support groups as “their family” instead, since support groups could relate more to their problems.

Research also revealed that the rate of depression in patients with cancers are up to three times higher than that of the general population. Depression could result in poorer quality of life (QOL), compromising the patients’ outcomes. Studies also disclosed that depression could lead to higher percentage of mortality in cancer. Minor and major depressions were also known to increase mortality rates by up to 39%, based on a meta-analysis, and patients who exhibit even minimal symptoms of depression might have an increased risk of mortality by 25%. The significance of mood and mental wellbeing on the progression of cancer was also underscored by both physicians and patients, where more than 70% of oncologists and 85% of cancer patients considered that mood plays a part in cancer progression.


Source: Expat Life Thailand
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