Why our program is important
There are over 16 million cancer survivors in the United States. In New Orleans, it is estimated that this year alone – over 24,000 new cases will be diagnosed.
The good news about cancer care is that -- thanks to advances in the medical community,-- the number of people who survive cancer is growing. The harsh reality, though, is that mental and emotional care is the overlooked but necessary part of cancer care treatment.
Women in our communities are struggling with the aftermath of cancer . This includes everything from depression, lack of concentration and low energy, to psychological issues such as fear of recurrence or lack of self esteem due to the harsh physical changes from surgeries. Most physicians simply do not have enough time during routine office visits to deal with the psychosocial care that women require.
One out of every five persons diagnosed with cancer suffer from varying degrees of post-traumatic stress disorder.
Studies of quality of life in cancer survivors have examined both the physical and mental health consequences of cancer and its treatments. In general, health care providers have focused largely on patients’ physical symptoms and physical health status, and less emphasis has been placed on mental health issues. For cancer survivors, as for individuals without a history of cancer, physical health directly influences mental health status and overall quality of life. Physical symptoms are more likely to be detected and treated by health care providers, as the mental health and social consequences of illness are less well recognized. Population-based data suggest that cancer survivors are more than twice as likely to have disabling psychological problems compared with adults without cancer, -- published in National Institute of Health
A family member’s cancer illness stretches the emotional resources of the rest of the immediate and extended family. Both the person with cancer and loved ones may need to protect one another from their own emotions.