A cancer diagnosis can be the most devastating thing that can happen to anybody! While the disease challenges the patient’s physical strength, the treatment itself breaks the individual’s mental strength. Patients fighting the disease, therefore, need much more than treatment; they need comprehensive support to boost their mental and emotional strength.
In an attempt to provide cancer patients much-needed social support and boost their fighting spirit, Paras Hospitals, Gurgaon today launched ‘Hausla’, a special Cancer Support Group. ‘Hausla’ aims to propel patients towards a positive and healthy lifestyle, boost their morale and mental strength and provide them a group of friends to fall back upon to overcome the emotional distress.
The Group also aims to bring the patients together with cancer survivors in a bid to boost their mental strength through positive stories and experiences. Notably, over 2.5 million people in India are estimated to be living with cancer.
“For people fighting cancer, it is common to experience psychological distress. Be it coping with diagnosis, challenges of the difficult treatment, or continued worry about recurrence, the emotions brought on by these experiences are very difficult to handle. Unfortunately in our country, there are very rare initiatives to address this side of the patient’s condition, along with medical treatment. The Cancer Support Group is our effort to try to fill this void, and create a community of people including patients, survivors, doctors, dieticians, psychologists and motivators to improve the treatment mechanisms,” says Dr. Dharminder Nagar, MD Paras Healthcare.
The Launch of the initiative was organized in association with the Festival of Hope and Sashakt Nari Parishad. The Hospital gave special thanks to Ms. Shalini, Founder of Festival of Hope and Mrs. Deepa Antil, Founder of Sashakt Nari Parishad for supporting the endeavor.
Sessions with Oncologists were organized to interact one on one with cancer patients and their families.The hospital dietician held a talk spelling out the diet requirements for people suffering with cancer.
“Psychological care needs to be an integral part of cancer care. Addressing the psychological concerns makes patients feel more relaxed and in control, and help them better cope with treatment, overcome anxiety and depression. Cancer patients need to use effective coping strategies to deal with stress. Relaxation and stress management techniques have proven to lower levels of depression, anxiety, and symptoms related to cancer and its treatment,” added Dr. Vinay Saumel Gaikwad, Senior Consultant & Head , Paras Hospitals, Gurgaon.
‘Hausla’ aims to bring together cancer patients from across the city to share their experiences and be a source of strength for each other. This interdependence of patients encourages them to share struggles and life events that they would not normally share with their family or friends. It helps them open up their bottled emotions and allow a process of emotional catharsis. Make no mistake, the fight against cancer is fought as much in the mind as in the body; and boosting the mental efforts also pays of physically.
The launch of the Group was attended by patients, their families as well as several cancer survivors who are today leading normal lives.
“Emotional distress is a constant companion when you are struggling against cancer; and this emotional distress adds to the physical pain and discomfort. Having successfully struggled against this disease, I can say emphatically that emotional and moral supports are key to your will power to live. I commend the initiative of Paras Hospitals, Gurgaon to start a Cancer Support Group,” said Mr. V.K. Sharma, Cancer Survivor.
“Emotional and social support groups like Hausla help patients learn to cope with this psychological stress. Such support can reduce levels of depression, anxiety, and disease and treatment related symptoms among patients. As a survivor, I intend to be always available to patients to help them in their struggle,” said Mrs. MS Godadevi, Cancer Survivor.