According to a new report from the Canadian Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association (CCTFA) Foundation Canadian women who have cancer say that they are not getting the support they need in order to get back to a 'normal' life.
When cancer hits a woman their life is forever changed. Fear of their cancer coming back hits 70 percent of women and almost half of women are not able to "get comfortable with the new normal." Having access to psychosocial support would make a difference in their lives but that support is lacking for many according to a recent report, Lives affected by cancer...800 Women Speak.
That normal life is the goal of 63 percent of women surveyed. Maintaining independence, not looking sick, not being a burden to their families and finding a balance in their lives are top goals.
Canadian women are determined to feel that they are in control and empowered when dealing with the life and death struggles that cancer can bring forth. Sadly almost half of respondents felt that they were not supported in their cancer journey. Half of those surveyed agreed with the statement: "I need someone who can help heal the whole me (mind, body and spirit), not just my cancer."
"While the medical community does a tremendous job at treating the tumour, the hearts and souls of women with cancer also need care and attention," says Sherry Abbott, Executive Director of the CCTFA Foundation. Abbott, a 21-year cancer survivor, and advocate committed to encouraging and empowering people with cancer, knows all too well about the diverse supports needed to manage the challenges and hurdles that come as a result of cancer. "As women, we are simply not meant to face cancer alone," said Abbott in a press release.
As women make their way through the cancer journey having a positive attitude is important. The need for mental well-being is as important as the medical process. Being able to be active in their healing allows women to feel in control and empowered.
Seventy-four percent of women turn to the Internet to find support on cancer-related websites yet only 21 percent see the internet as their most helpful resource. In an effort to change that CCTFA Foundation has launched the Facing Cancer Together site at facingcancer.ca