More than the sum of our parts

Tanya L Hall
Med J Aust 2012; 197 (9): . || doi: 10.5694/mja12.11360
Published online: 5 November 2012

Humanity is needed for cancer treatment to be complete

Australian cancer care is among the best provided in the world. Yet, many cancer patients choose to either forgo aspects of conventional treatment or seek unproven complementary therapies.1,2 My own recent cancer treatment prompted me to wonder whether these choices may, at least in part, be due to the failure of Western medicine to address the psychological and emotional needs of cancer patients. Cancer patients suffer from a greatly increased incidence of psychological disorders.3-5 Does the emotional trauma inflicted by an insensitive health system contribute to this?

  • Tanya L Hall

  • Lake Macquarie Mental Health Service, Hunter New England Mental Health Service, Newcastle, NSW.


I would like to thank Alicia Hall, Brendan Flynn and Marina Vamos for assistance in revising my article.


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