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Cancer Concern launches new support group | 11 September 2020

Cancer Concern launches new support group

Ms Francourt addressing the gathering at the launch ceremony (Photos: Thomas Meriton)

The Cancer Concern Association (CCA) has concluded that more patients and families are reaching out for psychosocial and medical support post-diagnoses. With only a few members who are able to assist patients when the requests for support come in, the pressures on the team have increased, thus

limiting the support that CCA can provide.

This is why CCA has launched a Professional Support Groupfor people who would like to join.

The launch took place on Wednesday afternoon at the Exile Club.

Dr Rania Rousseau, the person who proposed the idea for the support group, noted that the purpose of the group will be to help and encourage patients and family members to talk abouttheir experiences with others who would be willing to give a listening ear.

“We only have ten supporting members and the amount of work that we are doing needs more people to cover the grounds, so we called on professionals such as doctors, nurses, social workers, nutritionists, oncologists, among others to attend a presentation and see if they would like to join our association,” said Patricia Francourt, vice-chairperson of the CCA.

She noted that at the end it is hoped that the attendees will join CCA and walk the journey with them.

After the presentation, the attendees were able to jot down some of their skills and think of ways in which they can assist the organisation through the number of programmes it conducts all over the country.

“Having cancer is often one of the most stressful experiences in a person's life. The Professional SupportGroup will help many people cope with the emotional aspects of cancer, by providing a safe place toshare and work through feelings and challenges. The work of the Professional Support Group willfurther support CCA in ensuring that its mandate is fulfilled in an effective manner, based on thefundamental principles of the association's aims and objectives,” said the vice-chair.

Members of the team cansupport patients by sharing feelings and experiences that may seem too strange or too difficult to sharewith family and friends. Being a part of the team will help patients create a sense of belonging that helpseach person feel more understood and less alone.

The group will also talk about practical information. This will include what to expect duringtreatment, howto manage pain and other side-effects, as well as how to communicate with the healthcare team and familymembers. Exchanging information and advice may provide a sense of control and reduce feelings ofhelplessness.

During the launch of the group the CCA vice-chair showcased the various activities that the association has conducted during the previous months as well as upcoming projects.

Among the latter is a cancer screening that will be conducted once a month where nurses will also be able to educate the public about cancer.

Another project includes a survey study where CCA will collect qualitative and quantitative data from over 200 cancer patients about their lifestyles, cancer screening among other things. The data collected will then be sent to the ministry of health.

CCA will also be going to secondary schools and conduct educational talks regarding the type of lifestyles that lead to developing cancer.

 

Christophe Zialor

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