World Cancer Day
“I am and I Will” is the theme for this year’s World Cancer Day. The message highlights how people have the power and ability to reduce the burden of the disease for themselves and others. Cancer, a diagnosis people fear and a word that alone can provoke anxiety.
What does that mean for people diagnosed with intellectual disabilities (ID) who may be facing cancer? It could mean that they experience the fear and anxiety of the diagnosis, but it could also mean that they feel the fear and anxiety of those providing supports and services as well.
It is important to support our individuals and those providing care and services, especially when dealing with a cancer diagnosis. Some ways to show support are:
- Check in to see how they are feeling and address any concerns
- Find something that makes them happy, laugh or smile
- Bring things they can do at treatments like adult coloring books, etc.
- Make a treat they enjoy eating
- Pet therapy and music therapy
- Take them to a support group
All of these are simple things that we can sometimes forget about when dealing with the impact of cancer. At Philadelphia Coordinated Health Care (PCHC), we want people with ID to tap into all of the resources, treatments and information that is available to those with a diagnosis of cancer, regardless of their disability. We currently provide the American Cancer Society Form and the Cancer Support Notification Form to help make the process to access these resources a bit easier.
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