Why the Cancer Caregiver Journey Cannot Be Overlooked When Discussing Patient Care

November 18, 2020
Jessica Skarzynski

Advocacy Groups | <b>Cancer Support Community</b>

Heather Badt, CSC’s Executive Director of the Research & Training Institute, recently shared her personal perspective as a former patient and caregiver with CURE® and expanded on how those who care for loved ones with cancer often face their own unique challenges and require specialized resources themselves

Those who care for loved ones with cancer often face their own unique challenges and require specialized resources themselves, according to Cancer Support Community (CSC)’s 2020 Cancer Experience Registry Report. Because caregivers are a crucial part of the cancer care team, caring for them and addressing their needs is even more important.

Heather Badt, CSC’s Executive Director of the Research & Training Institute, recently shared her personal perspective as a former patient and caregiver with CURE® and expanded on how the report’s findings highlight the need for resources specially designed for caregivers.

For more news on cancer updates, research and education, don’t forget to subscribe to CURE®’s newsletters here.

Transcription:

I think what I'd love to do is also share on a personal note that I'm a former patient and caregiver, so my comments are coming from both a personal and a professional perspective.

And one of the reasons why (caring for the caregiver) is so critical is confronting cancer itself. We often overlook that the people living with cancer are the patient and the caregiver. It's a mindset that we have to collectively really shift.

It's well known that quality caregiving can lead to better patient outcomes, and that caregivers are often a critical player in the decision-making process. At CSC, we've learned that the caregivers’ journey can be as hard as the patients, and in our 2020 Registry Report, some of the highlights that we share are that caregivers are spending over 100 hours of care a week, and that many are showing a decline in their own personal health.

Half the caregivers in the report were concerned about balancing caregiving with other demands in their life. Three out of four wanted help understanding the patient's medical condition and treatment, but more than half also felt they were not prepared to care for the patient's emotional needs. We have to make sure that caregivers are reaching out for help and getting access to all these different types of resources.


x