Psychological

Psychological support for patients with cancer has proven to be one of the most successful therapies affecting the quality of life and even survival rates of patients. It now constitutes an integral part of cancer therapy and is used in a variety of ways. In Egyptian society, which is still largely socially cohesive and interactive, a natural form of psychotherapy occurs in the support that family and friends provide. However, professional advice and support would greatly enhance the understanding of the patient in dealing with this dis-ease and moving towards a healing process. Support groups are often a very effective method for cancer patients to talk with other patients about their fears, experiences and hopes.

Shock of diagnosis
The diagnosis of cancer is a shock of its own. Words and ideas can wound the psyche in exactly the same way that knives and bullets do. Often the word “cancer” is avoided in many cultures in the same way a voodoo curse is avoided, and the word itself will conjure up the specter of the disease. The diagnosis is often a shock for those around the patient as well, whether it be the spouse or other members of the family. Some advice is can be found at the following website to help them in understanding in how to deal with the situation.

As a holistic practitioner, I know that when the mind and emotions have been shocked and wounded, that person’s whole energetic system becomes unbalanced and symptoms may manifest on many different levels, from the mental, to the emotional to the physical. Even orthodox medicine recognizes that immune responses can be clearly linked to the mental/emotional state of the patient.

It is important that the person who has been told that they have been diagnosed with cancer be treated for the shock of the diagnosis. This can be done through psychologically based therapies (talking not drugs!) or more effectively through homeopathy (check your local homeopathy society for qualified practitioners – in Egypt).

Group work
Note: Many of these support groups are largely oriented to modern medical interventions but we hope that they will start to consider some of the material on this site.

Breast Cancer Foundation of Egypt (BCFE)
http://www.bcfe.org/english/index.asp

Egyptian Breast Cancer Support Group
http://www.hopegypt.org.eg/

N.B. I would very much appreciate it if you would inform me of any other cancer support groups in Egypt so I can add them to this page.

Professional Psychological Support

There are a number of ways in which cancer patients (and care-givers) can find mental and emotional support but it would be preferable if the practitioner has some training or experience in dealing with cancer patients.

Addresses of
professionally trained oncological support personnel trained by the Center for Mind/Body Medicine in the U.S. are available at this website. However, there may be Egyptian psychotherapists or psychiatrists who may also be able to help.