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J Oncol Pract. 2005 July; 1(2): 75.
PMCID: PMC2793573

PLWC Expands Psychological Content in Coping Section

The coping section on ASCO's patient Web site, People Living With Cancer (, has been expanded to include wide-ranging information to help people with cancer and their families cope with the emotional, physical, and practical issues of a cancer diagnosis. The PLWC coping section was created in collaboration with the Psychosocial Oncology Panel of the PLWC Editorial Board. The Psychosocial Oncology Panel reviews all content for the coping section. The Panel includes psychosocial oncology expert physicians, oncology nurses, and oncology social workers, as well as adult/child psychiatrists, hospice and palliative care physicians, and grief counselors.

“It is easier for physicians to stay up to date on the latest diagnostic and treatment information, but harder to find information on coping and psychosocial aspects of care,” said Raymond Sawaya, MD, professor and chair of the Department of Neurosurgery and Director of the Brain Tumor Center at The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, and member of PLWC's Editorial Board.

PLWC's expanded coping section is an excellent resource for physicians and other members of the health-care team to share with patients and their families. Another valuable resource for patients and caregivers is the opportunity to ask an ASCO expert questions about coping with cancer during a live Web chat on PLWC. This year, the chat takes place on December 8, 2005, from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. EST, and is hosted by Lidia Schapira, MD, a staff physician at Massachusetts General Hospital, board certified in internal medicine, hematology, and oncology, and a member of PLWC's Editorial Board.

The coping section provides information on the following topics for people with cancer, their family members, and friends:

  • strategies for coping with the emotional side of cancer, including information on support groups
  • relationships with family and friends, including tips for talking to family members, helping children understand cancer, and coping with cancer in the workplace
  • cancer in the older population, adapted from ASCO's Curriculum Cancer Care in the Older Population
  • cancer in teenagers and young adults, to help young people with cancer and their families effectively manage their care, understand treatment options, including clinical trials, and find online communities and websites that are geared towards teens and young adults with cancer
  • caregiving, including practical suggestions and resources for family members or friends who are caring for someone with cancer
  • In Their Own Words, which includes articles written from the perspective of oncologists and cancer survivors
  • mental health and cancer, such as coping with anxiety and depression
  • sexuality, which addresses fertility, pregnancy, menopause, and sexual changes after cancer treatment
  • end-of life-care, including information on advance directives and caring for adults and children during the final days of life
  • grief and bereavement, including understanding grief, finding help while grieving, and helping children and teenagers who are grieving

“Referring people to PLWC's coping section not only validates their non-medical concerns, but provides them with the resources to manage these issues,” said Diane Blum, MSW, editor-in-chief of PLWC, and executive director of Cancer Care, Inc.

Articles from Journal of Oncology Practice are provided here courtesy of American Society of Clinical Oncology