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Community Based Organizations are critical partners in providing complete cancer care



Byline: Dr. Rob Rutledge is a full-time radiation oncologist and associate professor at Dalhousie University in Halifax. He is co-founder of ‘Healing and Cancer’ a charitable organization dedicated to empowering people affected by cancer and has facilitated over twenty weekend cancer retreats across Canada. Lynne Robinson, PhD, is an associate professor in the School of Health and Human Performance at Dalhousie University and a specialist in health promotion. In the last decade, Canada has witnessed the successful development of dozens of organizations dedicated in part or wholly to fulfilling the psychosocial needs of people affected by cancer. These Community Based Organizations (CBOs) were created to fill the perceived gap in whole-person care currently not filled by the medical system. The purpose of this article is to overview how the CBOs currently contribute to complete cancer care and to outline a vision of how a true partnership between the CBOs and the medical system could better serve the growing number of cancer survivors.

Read the entire journal article here.





Healing and Survivorship: What Makes a Difference?

by Martin R. Chasen, Hillel D. Braude

Literature demonstrating the importance of social relationships for cancer survivorship is accumulating.  Building on that literature, the term “Healing Ties” refers to the scientific and popular factors supporting the idea that relationships and community are essential for healing. However, difficulties arise in assessing the effect of social support for survivorship.  The current paper reviews the role in survivorship of social support, with respect to the explanatory model provided by neuro-oncology and psycho-neuro-immunology. Taking cognizance of the importance of social relationships, the model of cancer rehabilitation aims, through its interdisciplinary framework, to restore a
sense of well-being and to facilitate healing by optimizing the capability for full social relationships and engagement with the world.


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Harriet and Survivorship

by Sarah A.O. Isenberg

also by Sarah: Transition, Cancer is a Catalyst


It’s with a heavy heart, a pit in my stomach, and tears in my eyes that I write this essay on survivorship. Yesterday, they buried a woman who played a pivotal role in my cancer experience. Her name was Harriet. She was a psychologist who worked with an organization dedicated to helping people living with cancer navigate the experience. From support groups to art therapy to journaling groups to qi gong, this community served as a haven for people living with cancer. A place to go where so much was understood from the get-go. Where there were no platitudes. Where people were real: They understood the gravity of the situation; that some of us would be lucky and survive the ordeal, and that some of us wouldn’t, but that the “ride” along the way mattered, so much.

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