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Volunteer society urges support for cancer patients

KUWAIT: The Kuwait Women Volunteer Society (KWVS) has stressed the importance of positive support for cancer patients and their families by providing the best healthcare and exceptional treatment services, as well as raising awareness related to all types of cancers through social and media activities. Member of the administrative council and secretary of the society Dr Mona Al-Qattan said during a lecture titled “Positive Support for Cancer Patients”, part of the GCC week for cancer awareness the association is keen to play its outreach role by holding many seminars and events that are in the areas of awareness and positive support for patients.

“The aim of these activities is to raise awareness of the symptoms and signs of cancer and the importance of early detection of this disease, in addition to raising awareness of the importance of adhering to cancer prevention factors and adopting a healthy lifestyle, as well as its impact on saving the lives of many individuals. The society conveys a supportive awareness message aimed at contributing to raising the level of preventive medical services provided to patients, providing them with basic needs and striving to educate society about the disease in order to limit the causes of its spread,” she said.

“A cancer patient goes through a series of changes in all aspects of their life, such as the social, emotional, physical and psychological aspects. These problems may lead to several behavioral disorders, such as the desire to stay away from family and friends, feeling of difficulty in making decisions, difficulty in enjoying life, inability to continue work, as well as mood swings such as anxiety, depression and distress,” Dr Qattan added.

“Psychological and social support helps cancer patients deal with psychological stress and reduce the levels of depression, anxiety as well as symptoms associated with the disease, such as the deterioration of their self-image and self-confidence. Therefore, cancer patients need external support from family, the psychiatrist and everyone in the patient’s circle to help encourage them during treatment,” she added.

Psychology consultant Asmaa Abu Ali spoke about ways of informing cancer patients or their loved ones that they have the disease and to give the patient time to understand their situation without leaving them alone. “Approximately 35 percent of patients suffer from psychological pressure that leads them to depression, especially in the early stages of the disease, as a result of the feeling of helplessness and the inability to predict what is coming. Therefore, it is important at this stage to provide moral and psychological support to the patient,” Abu Ali said.

“Talking to people who have lived or are experiencing cancer is useful in giving the patient a sense of reassurance and comfort. This kind of support can be obtained through several methods, including groups available on social networking sites or through support groups available in the local community. After the diagnosis of cancer and during the stages of treatment, it is important for the patient to open up to others and talk to them as they deem appropriate. It may be useful to talk to several people from family, friends, co-workers or neighbors, as each of them can play a role in supporting the patient and meeting their emotional needs,” she said.

“Psychological stress is an obstacle to the process of recovering from bitterness, so it is important to search for any possible ways to reduce the pressures of daily life. Therefore, help can be sought from family and friends in preparing meals, doing housework or taking leave from work,” Abu Ali added.

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