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Yes, cancer can be treated at home! Here is everything you need to know

Updated on:7 April 2021, 16:09pm IST
The very mention of the word ‘cancer’ sends shivers down the spine, isn’t it? But it can be managed well, even at home, but with guidance from specialists. Here are some myths and misconceptions that are important to do away with, before you opt for cancer care at home for yourself or a loved one.
Dr Neeraj Miglani
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Cancer care at home is feasible and effective. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

The word ‘cancer’ always frightens us by striking fears and worries in the minds of people. In every type of cancer, uncontrollable growth of abnormal cells emerges and spreads anywhere in the body. Such abnormal cells can be termed cancer cells, tumour cells, or malignant cells. Gone are the days when this life-threatening disease was not treatable and curable. Today, advanced healthcare facilities are ensuring to provide the best treatment and care for cancer. Furthermore, the concept of cancer care at home has also picked up owing to the additional costs incurred in hospitals and safety issues due to the ongoing pandemic. 

Over the years, people have fallen prey to several myths and misconceptions regarding cancer, especially about the care of cancer patients at home. While it’s important to spread awareness about the disease, it is equally crucial to stay away from all the existing myths. The online world is already flooded with uncountable misconceptions that can prevent people from availing proper treatment on time and at home. 

Here’s a roundup of the five most common myths and misconceptions and the facts busting the myths that will help clear the stigma and taboo related to cancer care at home.

Myth 1: Cancer cannot be treated at home

While it’s true that most cancer treatments are given at hospitals, nursing homes and clinics, certain types of treatment can be taken at home. Today, many tech-enabled online platforms ensure doctor-driven cancer care treatment to patients from the comfort of their homes. At-home, cancer care fosters a quick recovery process by making the whole experience more comfortable and manageable. Caregivers ensure to take premium care of the patients. They make sure that the patients maintain the right workout routine and dedicatedly follow all the prescribed therapies. 

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Cancer care at home also enhances the emotional well-being of patients. Palliative care improves their quality of life by reducing stress, tension, and depression. Besides, at-home cancer care service providers are highly-skilled and well-trained nurses. The most notable benefit of at-home cancer care is the cost-effectiveness of the treatment. This service helps to prevent the sky-rocketing costs involved in the treatment without travel hassles.

Myth 2: Cancer care at home is for every patient

This is another of the common myths associated with cancer care at home. It is not a feasible option for all cancer patients. It is also advisable that one should always consult his/her doctor, understand the advantages and the potential risks associated with cancer care at home. Only when the doctor gives a consent post analysing the condition of the patient, the type of cancer, the stage of cancer, other medical issues, on-going treatment, associated risks, location, and the hygiene conditions of the patient’s home, family members, and their capability of taking care of the patient, should one opt for care at home. 

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Myth 3: Home cancer care is expensive

People usually have this misconception that cancer is an expensive disease and its treatment at home is an added expense. However, this is a myth as in the majority of the cases home care is financially feasible and affordable, as compared to hospital visits and stays. A patient will always prefer the best of the hospitals and care when it comes to health issues, especially cancer. 

However, with good hospitals come long and expensive bills to be paid. Hence, cancer care at home can be a little less heavy on the pocket, as the family won’t have to bear the additional costs of hospital beds and services. The expenditure will solely be on the medicines and other requirements. Additionally, since there won’t be frequent visits to the hospital, the traveling time and money will be reduced too. Even the care at home facilities are affordable thereby being a go-to solution for the patient’s needs. 

Myth 4: We can’t take prescribed medicines at home

In the present times, when the medical field has undergone a major transition and has developed significantly, cancer care at home is indeed possible and so is taking the prescribed medications. There are various pills and antibiotics that can be consumed at home. For the injection and chemotherapy sessions, there are various high-end medical services available ensuring no patient suffers. Nowadays, giving injections and chemotherapy sessions is not a cumbersome process. They have been simplified so that the family members can handle things at their end, without roping in a home care nurse or medical professional at additional costs for basic activities. 

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Myth 5: The family won’t be able to support the patient

This is a preconceived notion that cancer care at home isn’t a great idea, as the family lacks medical knowledge and hence won’t be able to take care of the patient as efficiently as the hospital. However, in the present times, where people realize the value of the health of their loved ones, they are proactive to take up the necessary induction and gather basic know-how of patient care at home. When patients are with their families, they gather the required financial, physical, emotional, and psychological support. The family not only helps the patients with the daily chores but also ensures that the medicines are given on time, and that they do not suffer from any discomfort. Their concern is coupled with love and care. 

Summing Up

Cancer is undoubtedly a life-threatening disease. But its early detection along with the best treatment significantly increases the survival chances of patients. It’s also important for every person to have detailed knowledge about the disease, keeping no existing myths or misconceptions in mind. 

While people believe that cancer can’t be treated at home, home cancer care is indeed possible with the right facilities in place. It not only helps in reducing hospital-induced risks, but is also a win-win situation for both the patients and their families as the additional cost, time, and effort spent on traveling is reduced. However, there is a slight possibility for mistakes to happen that can pose greater risks. But with prompt actions and reaching out to the right people, the situation can be controlled.

Dr Neeraj Miglani Dr Neeraj Miglani

Dr Neeraj Miglani is a general physician with 30 years of experience and has previously worked with brands like Apollo and Medanta hospital. She currently works as the Chief Medical Officer at Hospido Private Limited.