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Over 40 per cent of cancer patients seek counselling within a year

The Irish Cancer Society is pushing for more supports for cancer sufferers.

Image: WaveBreakMedia via Shutterstock

MORE MUST BE done to support counselling services for cancer patients, the Irish Cancer Society has said.

Yesterday, the charity published a report into its National Counselling Grants Programme, which showed that 41 per cent of cancer patients sought counselling within a year of diagnosis.

The report focuses on the society’s affiliation programme which granted funds to 17 affiliated community based cancer support services across the country. In total, the Society gave €219,840 in grants to affiliated support centres last year.

The report shows that a diagnosis goes beyond the patient, with 26 per cent of those attending counselling the relative of a sufferer.

It also shows 22 per cent of the clients who used the counselling service were also bereaved due to cancer.

More than half of those bereaved (54 per cent) had lost their loved one within two years of attending for counselling.

Olwyn Ryan of the Irish Cancer Society says that their findings highlight the need for more supports.

Cancer patients and their families may experience anxiety, anger, sadness and depression. These emotions can occur at any time, even months or years after a cancer diagnosis and it’s important to recognise the need for this type of assistance.

“Counsellors provide emotional support by allowing clients to express their feelings and fears in confidence. They can help clients see things differently and find their way through a difficult period.”

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