Mental health help can prolong life for cancer patients


Cancer patients who seek mental health help tend to live longer than those who do not, psychiatrist Dr Uma Ambi says.
Ambi said: “Many of our patients who have got cancer die, but if you go and look at the real statistics, the people who have asked for mental health help live longer.
“Cancer and mental health, there is a physical illness and pyscho-social and the most important thing is the consultation and liaison with psychiatrist.
“Most of the patients who had cancer had depression but the moment they are treated for depression, they live very long and also cancer treatment becomes very helpful.”
Ambi said it was normal for human beings to become concerned and worried about their future when they had cancer, but getting counselling services during such stressful times was crucial.
“Psychological consequences of cancer is the delay in seeking medical help and also diagnosis of cancer, we don’t want to know that we have cancer,” she said.
“So close to death we run asking for help.
“The will to living will shut cancer out and fright will pass progressively, so social support groups – that doesn’t mean everyone get together and sympathise – make the person and family feel good.
“It’s the happiness which will suppress the progress of cancer.”
Ambi said positive thinking had been proven in American universities researches to be effective in helping cancer patients live longer and more positively.
“Group therapy, social support, can actually defeat the cancer deterioration and also you can have prolonged life,” Ambi said.

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