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HOW TO BECOME A PSYCHO-ONCOLOGIST IN INDIA

SONAL GOUR
 
HOW TO BECOME A PSYCHO-ONCOLOGIST IN INDIA?
 
Are you fascinated by the role of Psychology in the prevention and treatment of cancer? If yes, then you have come to the right place!
Being diagnosed with cancer is an overwhelming experience for the patient. A flood of emotions, intense anxiety, and fear of death, resulting in depression, consumes the patient's mind. A person has to fight two battles simultaneously, one with cancer and the other with his mind. 
  

Who is a psycho-oncologist?


A psycho-oncologist is a professional dealing with the psychological and emotional reactions of the patients. They also focus on the behavioral and social factors that may affect the rate of prognosis. They work in a close association with the oncologists in serving cancer patients.


Goals of a psycho-oncologist:

Psycho-oncologists are intended to:
  1. Boost an abidance towards the treatment plans of the patient; 
  2. Help the patients and their families in adjusting to the pre and post-treatment lifestyle changes;
  3. Enhance the quality of life throughout the treatment, survivorship and palliative care;
  4. Help in dealing with loss and grief.


Requirements to become a Psycho-oncologist:




To practice as a psycho-oncologist, one must have a bachelor's in psychology, a Master's in psychology ( health, clinical or counseling psychology is preferred), and an M.Phil or Ph. D in psycho-oncology. Other training programs in psycho-oncology are also available that one can opt for after the Master's in psychology to pursue a career in this field.

Also read, Masters in Psychology in India.


Institutes offering psycho-oncology courses:

Only a few institutes in India offer courses in psycho-oncology.
 


Scope of psycho-oncology:




Psycho-oncology or Psychosocial Oncology is still at its infancy in India. Due to a lack of awareness among people about this new specialty of psychology, only a handful of professionals are currently in service.
Cancer rates are increasing rapidly in India, and so is the need for psycho-oncologists. It is estimated that around 60% of the cancer patients suffer from psychological distress. This demands a rise in the number of mental health professionals in this field.

With the Institutes like COPER setting the stage for the aspirants of psycho-oncology and spreading awareness regarding it, tremendous growth is anticipated.



 

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