• 4/F., Champion Tower, 3 Garden Road, Central, Hong Kong
  • Unit. 1908-09, 19/F, Mira Place Tower A, 132 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui

With medical advancements, the survival of cancer patients has been prolonged, and the fight against cancer has become a battle of attrition. During this enduring journey, patients encounter different challenges both with their emotions and determination to fight the cancer. Not only does psychological well-being affect mental health, but research has also proven that patient mental health directly correlates with their treatment outcome. Additionally, it is important to take care of the patients and their caregivers’ psychological needs too.

  • Type of Psychotherapy | Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy

Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy is a type of treatment that combines physical and mental elements and assists patients in acknowledging their predicament whilst retaining their dignity. During therapy, the patient learns how to manage their pain and insomnia and how to face the mood swings caused by the treatment. This helps reduce anxiety about cancer recurrence and also allows patients to be more proactive and confident in facing the various challenges in life. The therapy is designed to guide patients to live in the moment, cherish things and the people around them and to enjoy life once again.

  • Types of Psychotherapy | Guided Imagery Therapy

This therapy guides the patients in using their imagination to recall and construct memories or situations that can make them feel more relaxed and at ease. It enables them to alleviate stress, physical and mental pain and helps them complete their treatment with greater ease.

  • Types of Psychotherapy | Biofeedback Therapy

The signals sent by the patients’ body can be detected with the help of medical instruments. Biofeedback therapy helps patients learn techniques that can help them relax and so avoid excessive stress that could reduce their treatment effectiveness.

  • Types of Psychotherapy | Positive Psychology

Almost everyone has had difficult experiences in the past, and sometimes these experiences lend us the strength to face more difficulties and overcome hurdle after hurdle. Positive psychotherapy can help patients to explore their uniqueness, their potential and strengths through summarizing their past experiences. In doing so, it helps them strengthen themselves and overcome the anxiety and depression that is being caused by the cancer treatment.

  • Types of Psychotherapy | Existential Therapy

Being diagnosed with cancer brings plenty of impact on the patient’s life. Existential therapy guides patients to think deeper and re-examine the meaning of life. It helps patients explore different ways of dealing with life in the face of adversity.

  • Types of Psychotherapy – Grief Counseling

In addition to the patient’s mood swings, clinical psychologists also take care of the mental health of the patient’s family members. Grief counseling helps family members come to terms with the transformation of their loved ones.

Help from Clinical Psychologists

The lives of the patient and his or her family changes dramatically from the moment that cancer is diagnosed. Some people may feel hopeless; others may feel angry and blame God for choosing them to be the “unlucky ones.” In the face of unfamiliar cancer treatments and all the side effects, some patients may even feel helpless and scared. They may even consider the idea of giving up. Even when the patient has recovered, he or she may still be worried from time to time about the recurrence of cancer. It is hard for them to escape the shadow over them that cancer brought.

 

Along the journey of fighting cancer, clinical psychologists stay with patients and their families through the different stages, from diagnosis to treatment and rehabilitation. They help them to digest complex information regarding the cancer and alleviate the psychological stress and emotional fluctuations caused by the cancer.

 

Clinical psychologists find the most suitable and scientific treatment methods by considering the cancer patient’s various psychological states. These treatments can help the patient to overcome mental blocks and develop a positive mental attitude to face cancer with. Psychotherapy not only focuses on communication with patients, but also helps patients to be more mentally able and healthy whilst assisting them maintain a better quality of life through innovative and diversified professional therapy.

>30%

Over 30% of patients have emotional problems, such as an anxiety disorder, depression, difficulty in adapting, etc.

25-69%

25% to 69% of patients suffer from insomnia.

1.5

The risk of suicide among cancer patients is 1.5 times higher than that of an average person.

~50%

Nearly half of cancer patients think that the psychological distress is more difficult to deal with than the physical condition

Five Cancer-supporting Tips for Caregivers

Not only do the family members of cancer patients witness their loved ones suffer from cancer, but they also have to act in the role of caregivers and provide emotional support to the patients. They often bear as much psychological pressure as the patients. During the journey of fighting cancer, family members and patients are both our concerns.

  • Cancer-supporting Tips – Take care of yourself

Caregivers must take good care of themselves and be physically healthy before they can take care of cancer patients. If you are ill as a caregiver, you will not be able to take care of the cancer patient so well, which may well lead to feelings of guilt in the patient.

  • Cancer-supporting Tips – Division of Labour

Caregivers should communicate with relatives and friends and take turns to visit and take care of the patient. It is important to make sure the workload is shared and caregivers themselves have enough time to rest.

  • Cancer-supporting Tips – Care in silence

Body language shows care. Simple eye contact, a pat on the shoulder, small acts such as brushing a patient’s hair or applying lipstick and face cream are all natural and comfortable ways to show care.

  • Cancer-supporting Tips – Listen with heart

Caregivers should listen more and argue less. Even if patients have negative views, caregivers should listen carefully and share their concerns. Being listened to is also a comfort to patients.

  • Cancer-supporting Tips – Enjoy it while it lasts

Neither caregiver nor patient should neglect their own lives. They should try to maintain their autonomy in life and continue to do what they like as a kind of self-support. Do not always limit the patients by thinking “you are sick, so you can’t do it,” which makes the patient feel that life is meaningless and so they gradually lose the determination to fight the cancer.

Clinical Psychologists

MS. BEATRICE NG-KESSLER

 

  • (Registered Clinical Psychologist-Mindfulness Teacher)
  • Registered Clinical Psychologist, (HKPS, DCP)
  • Master of Social Science (Clinical Psychology), The University of Hong Kong
  • Foundation Course for Teaching MBCT organized by Oxford Mindfulness Center and Hong Kong Center for Mindfulness
  • Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) Facilitation Certificate (Advance Level) The Centre of Mindfulness Studies, Canada
  • MYMind Advance Teacher Training (For kids with ADHD / Autism and their parents), organized by The University of Amsterdam and The Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • Certified Mindful Parenting Instructor (Advance Teacher Training in Mindful Parenting) organized by University of Amsterdam

DR. LI CHI KWAN, CAROLE

 

  • Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology (Psych.D.), The University of Hong Kong
  • M.Soc.Sc. (Clinical Psychology), The University of Hong Kong
  • B.Soc.Sc. (Psychology), The University of Hong Kong
  • Registered Clinical Psychologist, Hong Kong Psychological Society
  • Vice-Academician, Hong Kong Psychological Society
  • Yoga Alliance registered yoga instructor

360 Cancer Support Guide - Service Introduction

Diet and Nutrition

Sufficient nutrition is the key to treatment success for patients in long-term fight against cancer.

Clinical Psychological Service

Mental health of cancer patients is directly connected to treatment outcome, thus addressing the psychological needs of cancer patients and caregivers is crucial in the fight against cancer.

Breast Prosthesis

Breast reconstruction can help patients to rebuild self-esteem while reducing the discomfort brought about by surgery.

Scalp cooling system

Scalp cooling can restrict the amount of chemo drug reaching the hair follicles so as to alleviate the problem of hair loss.

Cancer Massage

Cancer massage is a form of complementary therapy specially designed for cancer patients with the aim of relieving their physical discomfort or improving their psychological well-being.

  1. Cunningham A J, & Watson K. (2004). How psychological therapy may prolong survival in cancer patients: new evidence and a simple theory. Integrative Cancer Therapies, 3(3), 214-29.
  2. Mehnert A, Bra hler E, Faller H, et al. (2014). Four-week prevalence of mental disorders in patients with cancer across major tumor entities. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 32, 3540-46.
  3. Savard J, Ivers H, Villa J, Caplette-Gingras A, & Morin C M. (2011). Natural course of insomnia comorbid with cancer: an 18-month longitudinal study. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 29(26), 3580-3586
  4. Hem E, Loge JH, Haldorsen T, et al. Suicide risk in cancer patients from 1960 to 1999. J Clin Oncol. 2004;22:4209–4216. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2004.02.052.
  5. Institute of Medicine. . Cancer care for the whole patient: Meeting psychosocial health needs. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. ; 2008.