Exploring the problems faced by patients living with advanced cancer in Bengaluru, India

Elsevier, Heliyon, Volume 7, April 2021
Wajid M., Rajkumar E., Romate J., George A.J., Lakshmi R.

Purpose: Cancer is a key influence on psychosocial and emotional distress among patients. Problems that advanced cancer patients in the western world face have been widely explored, but these findings may not be applicable in the non-western world due to the cultural differences. Exploring the problems of advanced cancer patients will help professionals plan appropriate therapeutic interventions to take care of the patients' physical, emotional, social and practical needs. Hence, this study aims to explore the psychosocial and emotional problems of advanced cancer patients in India. Methods: Data were collected from 10 advanced cancer patients from Bengaluru, using purposive sampling and semi-structured interviews. The interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed. Themes were generated using thematic analysis. Results: The prevalent themes were financial instability, hopelessness, family anguish, self-blame, helplessness, anger, stress, and suicidal thoughts. Conclusion: This research has highlighted that advanced cancer patients have several issues, indicating the importance of using a holistic approach while handling this vulnerable population by focusing more on the patient rather than the disease.