Cancer and its treatment have symptoms and side effects which not only affect physical health but also hurt the emotional, social and financial state of the mind. Therefore, supportive medical care is an integral part of cancer treatment.
Medical support along with regularly planned treatment help to slow down, stop, or cure cancer. Medical support also gives treatment satisfaction to the patients and also induces improve quality of life.
A cancer patient needs medical support in every step including during the ongoing treatment, side effect management, and recovery period.
Supportive care is different from hospital treatment
Supportive care is not the same as cancer treatment provided in the hospital. But supportive care is a type of care which receives in the hospital. The aim to provide medical support to make the patient comfortable and provide hope to cure cancer.
Who recommends patient requirements about medical support?
The oncologist under whom patient treatment is going usually understands which type of medical support is required for the patients. Depending upon the type of care requirement, the patient can receive that at the hospital, or clinic, or home. For example, social workers meet with patients at a hospital, whereas physiotherapists may visit the patient’s home for physical therapy, even patients can visit the clinic for receiving physical therapy.
Aim to provide medical support
The aim to provide medical support is to give information about a diagnosis, treatment, and needs. Therefore, detailed conversations require overall care. Medical support is not only required for cancer patients but also family members of the patients. Therefore, healthcare teams work together for providing medical support to cancer patients.
The doctor needs to share the diagnosis, plan for treatment, and prognosis with the patient and family member to understand the requirement of additional medical support. However, the medical support requirement is not the same.
Medical support also includes explaining all the queries of the patient, as the patient or his/her family member does not understand the medical terminologies.
Medical support also analyzes the social, emotional, functional, and spiritual needs of the patients.
Medical support also assists patients to cope up with symptoms and side effects of the treatment. Supportive care helps patients to relieve symptoms.
Medical support includes palliative care and if require doctor advises the patient to opt for it.
Medical support may be part of the cancer treatment plan. Detail conversation during cancer treatment about the aggravated or improvement of symptoms, monitoring any noticeable changes in patient’s behavior is part of medical support. Depending upon the patient’s experience during the treatment period, the doctor decides the requirement of additional medical support. Following are some examples of medical support in cancer treatment:
A social worker regularly visits the cancer patient to help to perform a regular task, and cope up with challenges associated with diagnosis and treatment and help the patient to adjust to the condition.
Child life specialists and counselors may require for childhood cancer detection. Consultation with these persons helps to provide emotional stability and mental health support to the family members of cancer-detected patients.
Sometimes spiritual advisor can be a part of the medical support team to help to cope with fears and raising of questions related to life and death. spiritual advisor supports the spiritual health of the patient and his/her family members.