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Psycho-oncology: My chosen journey

 Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad, Telangana, India

Correspondence Address:
Sravannthi Maya,
Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad, Telangana
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijc.IJC_949_19

PMID: 32594078

Before choosing psycho-oncology, there was a juncture in my life when I had to select my specialization for further education. It was overwhelming to choose one from all the areas available at that time and be solely responsible for this decision as it had a bearing on not just me, but also on my family. In 2013 (when I decided on my area of specialization), psycho-oncology was a new field. With just a belief to hold onto, that one day psycho-oncology would be widespread and welcomed in Indian cancer care, I pursued this field with dedication and passion. Despite knowing the risk of choosing a career of a barely trodden path, I took the plunge because I believed in its need and that I could contribute to this field meaningfully. Persistent efforts to integrate psycho-oncology into mainstream oncology are being made by psychologists, policymakers, oncologists, social workers and palliative care professionals and I will continuously strive to add my bit to this field. Cancer, as is commonly known, is an illness of the patient, as well as the family. Cancer impacts patients, caretakers, and oncologists. I observed that factors such as culture, age, caretakers beliefs, their perceptions about the illness, society, and the stigma associated with the illness are some of the barriers to truthful disclosure. This is an area within psycho-oncology that interests me and I have dedicated the past few years of my research to knowing it in depth. In this narration, I share with you an encounter with a patient which propelled me certainly and went deeply into psycho-oncology.

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