A diagnosis of cancer can have a significant impact on the lives of those who develop cancer and their families. Many people may seek support, not only for physical needs, but emotional and spiritual needs. Supportive care is defined as all forms of care and support that aim to improve the quality of life of people living with cancer, cancer survivors and their loved ones. Supportive care is an umbrella term used to refer to services that may be required by those with cancer, their family and carers.
Supportive care refers to a wide range of needs including:
- physical needs, for example pain, nausea or fatigue.
- psychological needs, for example anxiety or distress.
- social and practical needs, for example cleaning or financial support.
- information needs relating to diagnosis, prognosis and treatments.
- spiritual and religious needs, for example addressing feelings of hopelessness or despair.
Supportive care can help people with cancer and their families by reducing levels of anxiety and depression, managing physical symptoms, and increasing knowledge of the cancer diagnosis and its treatment.
Supportive Care Screening:
A brief questionnaire is used to identify supportive care needs at different intervals along the cancer journey and is completed by the person undergoing treatment or their carer with a staff member. The tool provides an opportunity to discuss any current issues, any informational needs and the possibility of referral to extra services.