Mental Health Support
At Central Coast Haematology, we know just how difficult physical illness can be on one’s mental health. Mental health support is important for all patients, especially those who are experiencing treatment for haematological malignancies. There are a range of support services available throughout the Central Coast, all aimed at helping patients and families deal with the physical and emotional changes associated with their diagnosis and progression of the disease.
If you, or a loved one, feel that you would benefit from access to counselling, support groups or community care services, please see if any of the services below could be of use to you or inform our office and we will do our utmost to assist you.
The Global Wellness Institute defines wellness as the active pursuit of activities, choices and lifestyles that lead to a state of holistic health. Central Coast Haematology encourages and supports patients to make choices that lead toward an outcome of optimal holistic health and wellbeing.
A healthy lifestyle, encompassing regular physical activity, proper nutrition, tobacco cessation, and routine vaccinations is important for everyone. For patients with haematological malignancies these actions will reduce the risk of developing a secondary cancer, increase overall survival, and improve mental and physical health.
The Clinical Oncological Society of Australia recommends all patients with cancer take part in the same amount of regular physical activity recommended for the general population, aiming for at least 150 minutes of exercise per week, at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity each week; and two to three resistance exercise sessions each week targeting the major muscle groups.
All patients are encouraged to discuss with Cecily Forsyth Jacqui, Jagger or your GP before embarking on an exercise program. Support of an exercise physiologist or physiotherapist can be very helpful to provide an individualised exercise program and motivational support.
Proper nutrition is also important for patients with cancer and chronic illnesses. Research shows that a healthy diet may slow the progression of cancer, decrease the risk of recurrence, and increase overall survival.
A healthy diet can also help avoid obesity and weight gain, both of which may increase the risk of some treatment-related side effects and lead to greater risk of recurrence and death. Guidelines recommend a minimum of five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, choosing high-fiber whole grains and lean protein, and limiting the amount of dairy fat consumed.
Smoking cessation is especially important for patients with haematological malignancies. Continuing to smoke increases overall mortality and cancer-related mortality as well as the risk for secondary cancers and treatment-related toxicity.
Assistance with smoking cessation can be found via the link below.
Patients with hematological malignancies are at risk for a number of infections that are potentially preventable by vaccinations such as pneumococcal infections and influenza. Treatments, especially with monoclonal antibodies and stem cell transplantation, reduces the response to vaccination and it is therefore recommended that patients be vaccinated before initiating immunosuppressive therapy. Patients with haematological malignancies should not receive live vaccines
(e.g. Zostavax) since severe and fatal complications have been reported.
Many psychosocial interventions, including peer support programs, cognitive behavioral therapy, supportive psychotherapy, and psychotropic medications have been shown to be effective at relieving the emotional distress that accompanies many chronic illnesses, including cancer.
Chronic Disease Management Plan - a chronic disease management plan (or team care arrangements) can be made with your GP.
For more information please click on the links below.