Thursday 20 July 2017

We are failing the psychological needs of cancer patients

Cancer is an illness that goes to the heart of the family, an illness that goes to the heart of who we are as human beings. Cancer has emotional and psychological repercussions that last a lifetime, both on the individual who is diagnosed with it and on their family and close friends. Photo: PA (stock photo)
Cancer is an illness that goes to the heart of the family, an illness that goes to the heart of who we are as human beings. Cancer has emotional and psychological repercussions that last a lifetime, both on the individual who is diagnosed with it and on their family and close friends. Photo: PA (stock photo)

Paul D’Alton

Late last year, shortly before his death, the brave, generous and dignified Hugh Cooney highlighted the lack of adequate psychological services for cancer patients on the 'Late Late Show'. This issue was so important to him that he used his little remaining strength to bring it to public attention.

Cancer is an illness that goes to the heart of the family, an illness that goes to the heart of who we are as human beings. Cancer has emotional and psychological repercussions that last a lifetime, both on the individual who is diagnosed with it and on their family and close friends.

Graham is father to three young children, and is currently being treated for cancer. This is what he has to say about his experience: "I know the chemotherapy and all that awful stuff will come to an end but I am really afraid that the emotional terror of this bloody cancer will never stop."

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