Wednesday, 1 December 2010

I SWEAR I'll start making this blog less depressing.


I ran across a great in-depth study on YA oncology, found here. Of particular interest is the paragraph on psychosocial effects of cancer on those only just entering the arena of adulthood:

"Perhaps the greatest difference between patients in the adolescent/early adulthood age range and other ages is in supportive care, particularly psychosocial care. Adolescents and young adults have special needs that are unique, broader in scope, and often more intense than those at any other time in life. Cancer therapy causes practical problems in social arenas. The dependence of adolescent and young adult patients on peer-group approval poses greater challenges when confronted with a diagnosis of cancer. Self-image, a critical determinant during this phase of life, is compromised by many of the adverse effects of therapy, such as alopecia, weight gain or loss, mucositis and dermatitis (acne, mouth sores), bleeding, infection and contagiousness, susceptibility to infection and need for isolation, impaired sexuality (intimacy, impotency, tetratogenicity risk), and mutilating surgery. Other challenges include the loss of time from school, work, and community and the financial hardships that occur at an age when economic independence from family is an objective. A wide range of financial challenges occurs in the age group. In addition to the health insurance challenge described above, there are the usual limitations in affording life, much more once confounded by the costs of cancer treatment. There may be guilt if not attending to these responsibilities or stress and fatigue if trying to keep up a semblance of normal activity. Partner relationships are tested by the strain of the cancer diagnosis and its therapy. Whether a partner stays in the relationship is challenged by fear of relapse or infertility and may be influenced unduly in either direction by guilt or sympathy. Those contemplating having children may fear passing on a genetic predisposition to cancer. Medical professionals are often poorly equipped to deal with the psychosocial challenges within the age group and are often stymied by the need in these patients to increase compliance, reduce stress, and improve the quality of life during cancer therapy."

dude, seriously.

No comments:

Post a Comment