How might we …
raise awareness to the general public about the post-cancer effects?
#3 – Good health & well-being
Cancer patients are faced with multiple social challenges that are mostly provoked through the change in their physical appearance (e.g., hair loss, weight loss, lymphedema, etc.). Social awareness campaigns have generally addressed social exclusion and stigmatisation, especially during the time of chemotherapies at which phase the signs of body reaction to the treatment are most visible.
Little attention has been paid to the conditions of life for cancer survivors who live with a chronic condition, such as lymphedema, after the surgery or treatment. At that time less visible cancer-related symptoms might be in place, such as fatigue on a daily basis, fear of cancer re-appearance, but also, life pervasive visible phenomena, such as the lymphedema condition. Social exclusion and stigmatization is manifested also through limited job options and access to bank loans.
Social and professional exclusion after the treatment is a basic problem that needs to be addressed too in order to bring normality of life back to people who have survived cancer. Normalisation of the conditions of post-treatment is important to be invoked in the mentality of the general public and professional institutions (work environment).
What has been done already?
We gathered feedback from patients and the general public about what they know about the condition either though focus groups surveys or individual interviews.
What are the next steps?
Create more social awareness campaign towards healthy community, government, employers… by means of campaigns, flyers to be launced on the World Lymphedema Day, March 6.
Perhaps on the line of: More empathy and understanding that the life of cancer patient is never the same again as before the disease struck.
Social awareness campaign action plan.