Indian Journal of PsychiatryIndian Journal of Psychiatry
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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 54  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 111-118

Psychiatric oncology: Cancer in mind

Department of Psychiatry, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Santosh K Chaturvedi
Department of Psychiatry, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore - 560 029, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-5545.99529

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Psychosocial oncology is an upcoming area of interest, which deals with numerous psychiatric, psychological, and social aspects of malignancies. Psychiatric oncology relates to some of the common psychological and emotional problems encountered in persons with malignancy and their formal and informal caregivers. This oration will discuss the importance of this field of Consultation Liaison Psychiatry, with a focus on the research and practice in the Indian setting. This presentation will also share the findings and researches of the presenter. All these range from studies on cancer pain and palliative care, screening for psychiatric morbidity, quality of life, communication skills for health professionals in breaking bad news and handling difficult questions, and counseling. The findings on researches on somatization and illness behavior in cancer patients would highlight newer challenges in this field. Caregivers of persons with cancer are as important as the patient, but usually ignored. The stress, strain, burden, positive emotions, and coping in the context of care giving for persons with cancer are being increasingly realized. Professional caregivers should be aware of caregiver difficulties and support them through their ordeal. Lastly, the importance of dealing with staff stress and burnout among health professionals looking after families with cancer patients and survivors will be emphasized.



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