Our expert says:
Such illness, and the treatment, ca indeed be depressing. Having worked for years in these fields in different countries, I believe it is lousy medical practice not to involve a counsellor, perhaps from the Cancer Association, in the treatment from the start ; and not to involve someone from the hospice / palliative care programme, from the start, to advise on symptoms control. It is rare that pain canot be controlled, though sadly not rare for doctors working in such services not to know how to control pain and other symptoms.
One o the reasons I emphasize the involvement of such allied experts from early on is so that it is seen as a proper and standard part of treatment - sometimes the person with cancer or other serious illness may fear that calling for the hospice, pain advisor or counsellor is part of a death sentence, signallying that the End is Nigh, rather than realizing it is an important part of treatment, to improve the quality of life, and maybe even its quantity.
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