Australian psychologists tackle anxiety from melanoma recurrences

It’s considered the most serious type of skin cancer, affecting roughly over 10,000 Australians each year. However, just in time for Mental Health Week, the Journal of Clinical Oncology has published its efforts to tackle the issue of melanoma survivors in Australia.

According to the University of Sydney and Melanoma Institute Australia, about 70% of patients who survived melanoma have experienced intense periods of anxiety, fearing that they might fall ill again. And anxiety has always been one of the biggest health issues in Australia, originating from all different types of medical conditions, according to News Corp Australia.

Nadine Kasparian, a medical psychology researcher and senior investigator on the project, gave the following statement on the melanoma issues. “More than 13,000 people are expected to be diagnosed with melanoma this year in Australia, the world’s skin cancer capital.” Kasparian followed, “Yet limited support is available for patients, many of whom live with high levels of fear that their cancer will return.”

In the study — where researchers had a randomized controlled trial of 164 patients — those who formerly had melanoma developed traits of chronic anxiety. That would mean that the majority of these former melanoma patients are in need of psychological intervention, in which Australian health officials are beginning to address.

Although the end results will increase the usage of health services, mental health is currently being looked upon as necessary; health officials are looking at training psychologists to perform telephone-based support. Health officials are laying out the plan to begin treating patients in melanoma centers across Australia, hoping to shatter those fears that once plagued the mind of former survivors.

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