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A Holistic Model of Care to Support Those Living with and beyond Cancer
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Healthcare 2017, 5(2), 26; doi:10.3390/healthcare5020026

Breast Cancer: Exploring the Facts and Holistic Needs during and beyond Treatment

1
Department of Physiology, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore 117597, Singapore
2
National University Cancer Institute, Singapore 1192288, Singapore
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Joanne Reid and Helen Noble
Received: 25 January 2017 / Revised: 12 April 2017 / Accepted: 19 April 2017 / Published: 24 May 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Holistic Needs of Those Living with and beyond Breast Cancer)
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Abstract

Breast cancer patients face challenges throughout the journey of diagnosis, treatment, post-treatment, and recovery. The breast cancer patient is exposed to a multidisciplinary team including doctors, nurses, therapists, counselors, and psychologists. While the team assembled together aims to address multiple facets in breast cancer care, the sub-specialized nature of individual professional practices may constrain the overview of patients’ holistic needs and a comprehensive approach to cancer management. This paper aims to provide an overview of the holistic needs of breast cancer patients at each stage of their cancer journey, addressing their complex physical, psychological, and social needs. As every patient is different, cancer care has to be tailored to each patient based on a holistic needs assessment. This paper also explores how support can be provided from the perspectives of the healthcare providers, family members and caretakers. Examples of general practices at healthcare institutions worldwide as well as supportive care provided by support groups are discussed. The needs of breast cancer patients extend beyond the resolution of cancer as a disease, and the restoration of health as far as possible is a critical component of healing. Understanding the complex issues involved in the journey of breast cancer will aid healthcare providers to be better equipped to sensitively address their concerns and focus on healing the patient holistically. Methodology: This paper provides a literature review of validated practices in different countries and elaborates on the holistic needs of patients at various stages of recovery. This review is based on more than a decade of publications sourced from multiple resources including PubMed journal articles; books and official websites of breast cancer organizations. View Full-Text
Keywords: breast cancer; holistic needs; cancer survivorship breast cancer; holistic needs; cancer survivorship
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Ng, Z.X.; Ong, M.S.; Jegadeesan, T.; Deng, S.; Yap, C.T. Breast Cancer: Exploring the Facts and Holistic Needs during and beyond Treatment. Healthcare 2017, 5, 26.

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