Doctors try to change psychological care for cancer patients

Global Business

doctors-try-to-change-psychological-care-for-cancer-patients

It’s a disease that touches many lives – according to the U.S. National Cancer Institute, half of American men and a third of American women will get cancer in their lifetimes.

Cancer rates are also climbing worldwide. While medical treatment of cancer has become more advanced in recent years, the psychological care for cancer patients has been less of a priority. One U.S. university is trying to change that.

CCTV America’s Hendrik Sybrandy reports.

Doctors try to change psychological care for cancer patients

Doctors try to change psychological care for cancer patients

The first-of-its-kind program in the U.S. - at the University of Denver's Center for Oncology Psychology Excellence, graduate students in psychology are taught how to provide psycho-social services to cancer patients.CCTV America's Hendrik Sybrandy reports.

 

Diane Simard was diagnosed with late Stage 3 breast cancer in February of 2015. She asked her oncologist for professional help to deal with those feelings.

That experience drove Diane Simard to help found the University of Denver’s Center for Oncology Psychology Excellence, or COPE. Graduate students in psychology are taught how to provide psycho-social services to cancer patients.

As one of her mother’s caregivers, student Hannah Katz said she found the physical side of cancer gets much more attention than the emotional side.

COPE director Nicole Taylor said some hospitals and cancer centers are seeing the benefits of psychological support for cancer patients.

This first-of-its-kind program in the U.S., which began in September, includes role-playing exercises in which students play both health care professionals and patients. One cancer survivor said she could have used this kind of help several years ago.

Deaths by breast cancer in the U.S. from 1950 to 2014 (per 100,000 population)

This statistic shows the breast cancer death rate in the United States from 1950 to 2014. In 2000, there were 26.8 deaths by breast cancer per 100,000 women in the United States. Until 2013, the rate decreased to under 21 deaths.