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We have talked to

Karin Isak

Clinical Psychologist

Psychological Director of the Counselling Centre of the Austrian Cancer Aid Vienna

Support for patients and relatives

The diagnosis of cancer usually hits people completely unexpectedly and unprepared in the middle of their lives and is a drastic experience for which there are initially no fixed action patterns are available.

Cancer usually means a “fall from reality” combined with a feeling of existential threat. A wide range of emotions, such as helplessness, despair, insecurity, fear, anger, grief, confidence and hope, alternate rapidly and are unsettling and weakening.

Cancer is not a one-time, time-limited event and has an uneven dynamic. Phases of crisis intensification are followed by phases of stabilisation, renewed destabilisation, etc. This permanent and prolonged stress is enormously strenuous and challenging.

For patients it is important that they feel well embedded and supported in a network of competent and, above all, humanly and empathically active practitioners who offer security and support them in stormy times and strengthen those affected. Psycho-oncology is a very important and supporting pillar here.

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