Want To Help A Loved One Coping With Cancer? Stay Positive


Want To Help A Loved One Coping With Cancer? Stay Positive
  1. Want To Help A Loved One Coping With Cancer? Stay Positive
    newswise.com
    San Diego State University Professor Dr. Wayne Beach explains how positive, frequent communication by family members can truly help cancer…
    Medecine
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Want To Help A Loved One Coping With Cancer? Stay Positive

San Diego State University Professor Dr. Wayne Beach explains how positive, frequent communication by family members can truly help cancer patients.

Article ID: 682320

Released: 6-Oct-2017 5:00 AM EDT

Source Newsroom: California State University (CSU) Chancellor's Office

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  • Credit: Photo courtesy of CSU Chico

    Engaging in positive and joyful conversation with family members is crucial to a cancer patient's overall well-being and outlook, says Wayne Beach, Ph.D., professor of communication at San Diego State University, whose research focuses on cancer communication.

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KEYWORDS
  • Cancer, Communication, Positivity, Patient Support, Breast Cancer Awareness,
  • Family Communication , patient communication, Communications, healthcare communication
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  • ​Newswise — It's undeniable: a cancer diagnosis rocks the patient's family to its core. But what role does communication within the family play?

    Research by Wayne Beach, Ph.D., a professor of communication at San Diego State University, has proven that how a family communicates from diagnosis through cancer treatment plays a critical role in the patient's overall well-being and health.

    In recognition of October as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we spoke with Dr. Beach about his 10 years of research on communication and cancer, and we gathered his tips for communicating with a cancer patient.

    "How family members communicate when coping (with a diagnosis) is important," Beach says. Patients have reported feeling empowered when communication is comprehensive and constant in their home and medical surroundings, Beach explains.

    The American Cancer Society estimates three of four U.S. families have at least one member who is a cancer survivor, confirming the widespread impact and value of Beach's research.

    He and his team of researchers have and continue to study phone and face-to-face interactions between cancer patients and their families, and interactions between patients and healthcare professionals.

    "If you hear someone has been diagnosed with cancer, our natural inclination tends to be to think of it as a death sentence," he says. 

    This is why initial findings were surprising to Beach. Much of the communication observed between family members and cancer patients "focused on life, rather than death," he says. "It is so much more about hope than despair. I really didn't expect that going in."

    "So we're looking at how good and bad news relating to cancer gets delivered and responded to," he adds. 

    A Focus on Life, Hope

    Through communication, we share our fears and uncertainties with one another, but also our hope and optimism, which makes all the difference in a patient's …

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