Research into Action - helping cancer survivors

by on 20th December 2023
Research into Action - helping cancer survivors

The latest research papers in psychological care for cancer survivors continue to report the same disturbing facts:


"A large percentage of breast cancer patients experience multiple concomitant psychological symptoms during the cancer treatment journey”.


"Psychological distress is highly prevalent among cancer survivors and significantly affects their health outcomes and healthcare utilization, resulting in increased expenses.”


"Colorectal cancer survivors may face psychosocial problems following primary medical treatment… around one third experienced high levels of distress even up to 5 years after medical treatment.”


"Lung cancer survivors often suffer from physical long-term consequences after treatment and show significantly higher psychological distress compared to cancer survivors with other common tumour entities.”

So, we know what the issue is. But how do we fix it? Employing more psychologists in hospitals and cancer treatment centres would be great, but that just isn’t doable within most current health expenditure budgets.

What if we could extend that psychological care using existing health staff who deal daily with cancer patients and their families, who could could become a part of a whole-of-organisation stepped psychological care approach that runs from acute care through low-intensity to universal care?

We can. Professor Suzanne Chambers, AO and Professor Jeff Dunn, AO have worked for decades to find a clever, cost effective way of doing this through the use of an evidence-based, manualised, psycho-oncology approach that can be used in small to large enterprises for one initial investment that allows more health professionals help more patients. [ ]. The approach provides resources for low intensity psychological care to complement management of treatment effects -- holistic care matched to patient preferences.

And yes, my job is to sell this to you. And, no its not a drug to cure cancer or a tool to treat cancer. Its a product to help the psychological cost of cancer produced by two outstanding skilled, passionate people who have dedicated their careers to caring for the patient and encouraging policymakers and practitioners to do the same — to consider the patient and not just the disease.

Read more about The Professionals Guide to Delivering Psychological Care for Adults With Cancer.