Whole-person approach can improve cancer care

PUBLISHED: 16:00 18 November 2013


A CANCER patient’s quality of life can be hugely improved with the use of a Pill charity’s whole-person approach to care, according to a recent study.

Penny Brohn Cancer Care has published the results of a survey it carried out with the University of Westminster to find out how successful its mix of physical, emotional and spiritual support is for patients.

Set up 30 years ago, the charity offers a number of complementary therapies to help those diagnosed with cancer, as well as their carers and loved ones, alongside general medical treatment.

Penny Brohn, which has its headquarters in Chapel Pill Lane, also tries to empower patients by equipping them with detailed knowledge about nutrition, exercise and relaxation.

The study results have been published as the Office for National Statistics revealed more people in the UK are living longer with cancer.

Penny Brohn acting chief executive Michael Connors said: “It is fantastic news people are living longer with cancer but the long-term consequences can be life-changing, as the physical and emotional impact can continue for many years after diagnosis.

“Self-care will be integral to the future of cancer services.

“We now have evidence this kind of support, which provides people with cancer with lifestyle advice and simple, practical tools to manage their condition, can make a very real difference to a patient’s wellbeing.”

The study, which surveyed 170 patients and supporters over 12 months, revealed 74 per cent of participants of the charity’s Living Well courses reporting significant clinical improvements in their main cancer concerns after attending sessions.

Forty-seven per cent said the course had made a difference to how they access medical services and 81 per cent reported the course had helped them improve use of self-help techniques.

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