Monday, December 24, 2012

Why not Psycho-oncology?

1. Many people think working in cancer setting is not easy and it requires lot of courage to see the grief of the patients everyday. I can agree this statement to some extent only.

I see myself as a tender hearted person and I was afraid to work with special children and psychiatric patients thinking that there would so much burn out and things like that.

The truth is “I was also afraid to work in a cancer setting but my intuition said there is something for me in the field of Psycho-oncology”. So I joined with courage and I am sure that I am doing a good job here.

Cancer is no more a deadly disease. We have got wonderful treatment modalities to save the lives and also preserve their quality of life. I have treated more than 100 patients till now. Only 2 patients have died, all others are doing good. I am happy that I have contributed something when were in so much grief. Most of my job was ‘alleviating the stigma attached to the word cancer’.

2. Many people have fixed their mind to study Clinical Psychology and did not want to apply for M.Phil Psycho-oncology.

I understand that people who have fixed their mind to Clinical Psychology want to work in a hospital setting. Psycho-oncology also makes you work in a hospital setting. Only one difference is ‘In Clinical Psychology, you would work with Psychiatric Patients and In Psycho-oncology, you would work with normal people who have become neurotic because of the trauma’

3. Many other people say they want to work in the field of Counseling Psychology.

Psycho-oncology provides a wide platform to give counseling to the patients and especially family members starting from adolescent children to the geriatric population. We do almost all sorts of counseling like family counseling, marital therapy, adolescent counseling but the only difference is ‘it is centered upon cancer and its treatment’

4. Few more people say they want to work in Neuro-Psychology.
Here is also a great opportunity for those who want to do something on Neuro-Psychology. We are doing many researches in the concept called Chemo-brain. We want to know whether cancer treatment affects the neuro-psychology of the patients.

5. Finally some more people say they want to work with children.

We have got hundreds of children affected with various types of blood cancers and most of them have to be in the hospital at least for a year. We need people who have got some exposure to art and play therapy to make them ease with the treatment.

In conclusion, Psycho-oncology has so much scope and you will find your skills irrespective of your specialization readily helping people here. We also work on Tobacco Cessation otherwise called Nicotine De-addiction, in which we do lot of awareness programmes in schools, colleges and community. Thus if you are interested to work with community and have good skills in Training, Psycho-oncology is a very apt field.

Kindly disseminate the real scenario of Psycho-oncology and remove the stigma so that people can make use of the opportunity mentioned above.

You can read the following articles to know more about the field.
Why Cancer Care Needs Psychologists?
Is Cancer Synonymous to Death?

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