Cancer is the leading public health concern across the globe. Like other developing countries, the number of people living with cancer in Bangladesh is not negligible and day by day the number is soaring. It has profound negative consequences on survivors and their caregivers. Cancer not only affects the body but also the mind. Survivors may experience various psychological issues such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder etc. and these may even persist years after the successful medical treatment is over (Stein et al., 2008).
These psychological problems are linked to physical symptoms such as cancer-related fatigue and pain (Theobald, 2004). Moreover, the family members of the cancer patients are also susceptible to psychological stress, depression, anxiety, financial distress, fears, and increased psychosomatic symptoms because they help cancer patients in coping with the ailment and treatments (Kreitler, 2019). Alongside, relevant medical professionals such as oncologists and/or oncology nurses are vulnerable to psychological conundrums.
Most of the time the mental health aspects of cancer patients and caregivers remain unnoticed resulting in poor quality of life (QoL) of cancer patients, their family members, and caregivers. Therefore, the systematic management of psychological problems and ensuring QoL is crucial. A mental health professional, for example psychiatrists, clinical or counseling or health psychologists, and psychiatric social workers, can facilitate the cancer survivors and their caregivers to manage their psychological difficulties. They can help them
- · learn the ways to adapt to their predicaments such as cancer diagnosis.
- · manage depression and anxiety through evidence-based psychological therapies
- · manage cancer and treatment related side effects such as pain, fatigue, nausea etc.
- · control relationship issues within family and workplace.
- · discuss financial matters and to identify financial resources.
- · learn to change unhealthy behaviors such as smoking, physical inactivity etc.
In this circumstance Cancer Care and Research Trust Bangladesh (CCRTB) will act as a platform where cancer patients, caregivers, and stakeholders can reach out to these mental health experts.