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CentraCare Health – Monticello

  • Ask the Provider - March 2017

Ask the Provider

Charina Wynia, CNP, Medical Oncology

Monticello Cancer Center

A Comprehensive Approach to Cancer Care

Question: One of my family members is currently receiving cancer care. How do you support a patient's emotional health during their cancer treatment?

Answer: Working in medical oncology I have learned the importance of understanding a person’s cancer journey in order to provide unique care for the whole person. Cancer is often scary, and many times healing involves not only medicine but also complementary therapies that support calming thoughts and a positive state of mind.

In the past, oncology focused on maintaining the appropriate laboratory values, providing nausea medication and administering chemotherapy. Research has produced more specific therapies based on genetic markers. These treatments can be combined with, or sometimes replace the chemotherapeutic medications of years past. Along with these new medications come different side effects. These physical side effects such as nausea, constipation, diarrhea and cough continue to be managed by the patient’s provider. While the treatment of side effects continues to be vital to care, caring for the whole person is as an essential component of cancer treatment today.

I often share with my patients that I feel the physical side effects of cancer therapy are half of the battle. Often of equal stress are the worries that follow; How does this diagnosis affect my family? How will we do financially with this added cost, and possible loss of work? How will I find a way to identify a new “normal” and find some relaxation?

Finding answers to these common questions and offering services to meet a patient’s individual needs are the first step in providing cancer care to support the whole person. In addition to medical care, many people find comfort and healing in various, non-traditional therapies including pet therapy, massage therapy, reflexology and aromatherapy. Working with social workers and financial counselors also supports healing by helping to ease the financial stress cancer can sometimes have on patients and families. Support groups also offer a place to share, learn and find solace in understanding the cancer journey of others. Finally, it is important for people experiencing cancer to find joy during what is often a stressful time. Whether it be spending a little time each day on a hobby, enjoying a book, or meditating in a calm environment, finding time for joy can help to create a positive outlook and support healing.

For more information about comprehensive cancer care at the Monticello Cancer Center, visit us here.

CentraCare Health - Monticello

1013 Hart Boulevard, Suite 1
Monticello, MN 55362
Phone: 763-295-2945
Business Office: 800-835-6618
Monticello Medical Group: 763-271-2200
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