- Psychosocial issues have a deep impact on cancer patients’ physical and mental wellbeing. Psycho-oncology has risen as a relatively new interdisciplinary field that addresses these issues and provides support for patients facing numerous challenges throughout the different stages of the disease.
- In 2020, the Psycho- Oncology Program was established as a joint initiative between the Naef K. Basile Cancer Institute and the Department of Psychiatry at AUBMC, to be the first integrative collaborative care psycho-oncology program in Lebanon and the region.
- The program aims to support cancer patients and their families, help them better manage their disease and its progression, improve their quality of life, clinical outcomes and advocate throughout their cancer journey. The program provides gold-standard, criteria-driven, patient and family-centered multidisciplinary standardized care from diagnosis unto survivorship.
- Cancer and its medical treatments, lead to a broad variety of physical and psychosocial concerns. There is actually no right or wrong way to feel about a disease that can be challenging as it requires a significant amount of coping. Some of the feelings you face might seem conflicting, they might change at different times, but rest assured that they are all normal.
- Emotions can vary as people can have different ways of reacting to cancer under unique circumstances and across the disease trajectory.
Mission and Vision
The Psycho-Oncology Program supports cancer patients in relieving the psychological burden of the disease to improve day-to-day functions and quality of life, along with clinical outcomes. As patient advocates, we provide timely services to support the patients’ and caregivers’ abilities to engage in cancer treatment.
We aim to make psycho-oncology an integral part of care for every cancer patient and their family, to ensure that they have the right integrated medical, psychiatric, and psychological treatment plan essential for improved quality of life and increased coping.
- Medical management of psychiatric symptoms that may exist prior to the illness but that also may be a result of the cancer or its treatments.
- The program’s wide spectrum of supportive services aims to provide all cancer patients and their families with care that resonates with them, based on their individual needs. As such, patients can benefit from one-on-one interventions, support groups for varied populations including survivors and families, and psycho-educational sessions and workshops covering topics such as nutrition, fear of remission, body image, and coping strategies and skills.
Meet our team
Our team is multidisciplinary and includes a psychiatrist, clinical psychologist, oncology and psychiatry nurses.
Dr. Maya el Bizri, MD, MPH
Clinical instructor, department of Psychiatry
Psychosomatic medicine, Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry
Hiba Salem, MA, MAET
Annie Behlejian, RN, MSN
Psychiatric mental health
Elsa Jarawan, RN, MSN
Psychiatric mental health
Lubna Rajab, RN, MSN
Psychiatric mental health
Who can benefit from this program?
- If you or a loved one have recently been diagnosed with cancer, are going through cancer treatment, are a survivor, or are going through cancer care transitions, the psycho-oncology program is the right program to assist you in your journey.
- Its interventions and healthcare professionals provide patients and their loved ones with the necessary treatment plan, coping tools, and stress-management skills to better adjust to the cancer disease trajectory and the emotional stressors it entails.
- Psychological support during difficult transitional times significantly reduce pain, improve cancer treatment outcomes, decrease adverse symptoms of disease and treatment, increase medical adherence and compliance, and increase involvement in medical decision making and self-advocacy.
- If you are facing any significant psychological stress or are in need of psychological support, please consult with your oncologist and ask for the psycho-oncology program services. The program’s wide range of services have been specifically established to help you.
Why come to us?
- The Psycho-Oncology Program ensures the timely and early comprehensive provision of mental health interventions, enhanced through frequent and regular screening of distress and close monitoring of well-being.
- We strive to provide patients with a holistic collaborative treatment plan that is tailored to the unique needs and experience of the patient and family.
Dealing with cancer
- Whether you have been newly diagnosed or have completed treatment, if you are seeking information on how to best cope with cancer: Please consult our patient education information below specifically prepared to help patients handle the various aspects of dealing with the disease.
- In line with the psycho-social aspect of cancer care, the Naef K. Basile Institute actively fosters the development of awareness resources on managing cancer in order to help patients navigate disease as best possible and strengthen its supportive care approach.
- At our dedicated Patient Education Material page you will find various resources designed to enlighten patients about general care topics ranging from prevention, screening to implantable ports and disease information on bladder, lung, prostate, pancreatic and testicular cancer.