|LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
|Year : 2018 | Volume
| Issue : 4 | Page : 422
Health and well-being of cancer caregivers in a changed role of breadwinners
Md Mahbub Hossain
Department of Health Promotion and Community Health Sciences, Texas A&M School of Public Health College Station, Texas, USA
|Date of Web Publication||28-Feb-2019|
Md Mahbub Hossain
Department of Health Promotion and Community Health Sciences, Texas A&M School of Public Health College Station, Texas
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Hossain MM. Health and well-being of cancer caregivers in a changed role of breadwinners. Indian J Cancer 2018;55:422
In the article titled “Role change as breadwinner in cancer caregiving,” C Sivakumar focused on a critical, yet neglected domain of caregiving in a chronic disease such as cancer. The role of caregiver who has started breadwinning after diagnosis of a dear one requires special attention for several reasons. First, joining a new job offers enormous stress in learning new things, adapting in a newer environment, and maintaining optimal performance. Second, the changing family structures in India has resulted in micro-families that lack the competitive advantage of large families in taking care of ill members without jeopardizing the job prospects of a breadwinner. Third, the social stigma to spousal illness and outcomes of marriage can result in difficulties in expressing the feelings of caregiver. Last, but not the least, the caregivers who are women in most cases can experience altered health and health seeking behaviors resulting a decline in general, reproductive, and mental health outcomes. These can adversely influence the breadwinning process and the quality of care to the cancer patient as well. Earlier studies conducted in high-income countries have shown poor health of caregivers who play multiple roles in addition to providing care to cancer patient in their households.
This change in role within the family and the external environment informs the need of dealing the cases of cancer with adequate precautions. The healthcare providers should not treat only the patients but also provide support to the caregivers in coping with the changes in their lives. The treatment modalities should be planned in a way so that the breadwinner can contribute to the caregiving process conveniently. In addition to the primary caregiver, other family members and friends of the patient should be encouraged to facilitate the patient and the caregiver in leading healthy and fulfilling lives. Moreover, the employers and professional bodies should create enabling environment for the breadwinner so that the person can manage the tasks with minimal stress. Furthermore, the caregiver can join support groups where sharing individual experiences can provide valuable insights to overcome the crises in chronic diseases such as cancer. In India where more than a million cancer cases are diagnosed every year, the policy-makers, researchers, practitioners, and other key-stakeholders should create supportive policies and practices considering the critical role of caregiver who struggles in different fronts of the battle of life.
Financial support and sponsorship
Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
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