gms | German Medical Science

27. Deutscher Krebskongress

Deutsche Krebsgesellschaft e. V.

22. - 26.03.2006, Berlin

Operated - and then (not) left alone - Experiences with the psychosocial follow-up option on breast cancer patients

Meeting Abstract

  • corresponding author presenting/speaker Jürgen Schwickerath - Frauenklinik St. Martinus-Hospital Olpe, Deutschland
  • Elmar Reuter - Psychoonkologische Schwerpunktpraxis Olpe
  • Barbara Rehse - Psychoonkologische Schwerpunktpraxis Olpe
  • Birgit Schneider - Psychoonkologische Schwerpunktpraxis Olpe

27. Deutscher Krebskongress. Berlin, 22.-26.03.2006. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2006. DocPO588

Die elektronische Version dieses Artikels ist vollständig und ist verfügbar unter:

Veröffentlicht: 20. März 2006

© 2006 Schwickerath et al.
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It is well known, that the diagnosis of breast cancer does not only pose a shock for the affected women, it also triggers questions on the meaning and purpose of life (and of the life to come). The physicians primarily involved in the therapy of this disease, also know well, that their patients desperately need help in order to overcome this existential life-crisis. However, there are no unequivocal recommendations, and no experience, regarding how this help should be like, or in which form it is to be offered, let alone the timing. In the literature there are mere indications that one should begin timely with the psychosocial / psychooncological care. Although this is a must for the institution “breast-centre”, there are persistent “allegations”, on behalf of the patients, or their representing organisations, that the patients feel they are left alone after the operation. Taking into account this growing concern, a specific psychoonco-logial follow-up option for breast cancer affected women, arose in 2001, from the cooperation between the Gynaecology Clinic at the St. Martinus Hospital in Olpe (Dr. J. Schwickerath) and the Psychooncology-specialised Office in Olpe. In the context of structured patient seminaries, which are being conducted ever since, there is the aim has been set towards increasing the patient-authority of the affected women. Through the participation in accordant seminary units, the overall health-knowledge of the patients should be increased, in order fro them to be able to participate more in the decision-making processes referring to their disease, a possible therapy, or its diagnostics. A result of our scientific acquisition is that through these seminary series, a feeling of social support is being mediated to the patients. 95 patients have participated in the seminary series so far. 20 of the affected women (21,1%) took advantage of this option within the first three months of the diagnosis, another 43 (45,2%) within 9 months after the diagnosis. The evaluation of the data showed that most of the participants showed an increase of their expectations regarding treatment. The advantage of using all options – medicine, psychology, natural / alternative medicine, body -oriented processes – is being equally positively assessed. What is striking, however, is that the strongest increase was shown in the belief, that self-welfare can positively affect the disease course and outcome. The results of the scientific acquisition of data of these seminaries argue in favour of an intensified life feeling and a better quality of life; with a simultaneous high extend of self-welfare. The affected women wish to participate equitably and self dependently in the process of the treatment and their recovery. Many women consider the need for this integral enlightenment, within the first 12 months after the diagnosis – independently of the primary therapy - as absolutely necessary.