3rd Annual Symposium of the Gerald Bronfman Centre for Clinical Research in Oncology

January 2014

Traditional treatments for cancer are often discussed and written about in academic settings but psychosocial oncology, or mindfulness-based approaches, seem to get less attention. This despite the fact that “for every dollar spent in psychosocial care, three to five dollars are saved in traditional care,” says Dr. Zeev Rosberger, Associate Professor in McGill’s Oncology Department and Director of the Louise Granofsky Psychosocial Oncology Program at the Segal Cancer Centre at the Jewish General Hospital, one of three doctors who spoke at the 3rd Annual Symposium of the Gerald Bronfman Centre for Clinical Research in Oncology.

Dr. Zeev Rosberger

That changed December 2, when the Bronfman Centre held its annual symposium on the benefits of psychosocial oncology, including mindfulness-based cancer recovery, optimizing cancer care and managing distress across the cancer trajectory.

Held in the Jeanne Timmins Amphitheatre at the Montreal Neurological Institute, the symposium also featured Dr. Linda Carlson, Professor in the University of Calgary’s Oncology Department and holder of an Enbridge Research Chair in Psychosocial Oncology, and Dr. Carmen Loiselle, Associate Professor in McGill’s Oncology Department and the Director of Psychosocial Oncology for Hope & Cope.

 

Dr. Linda Carlson

The benefits of mindfulness-based approaches such as cognitive behavioral therapy, hypnosis, yoga, naturopathy and acupuncture were all debated.

Following the symposium a panel discussion featuring all three doctors was moderated by Dr. Bernard Lapointe, Associate Professor in McGill’s Oncology Department and Chief of the Palliative Care Division at the Jewish General Hospital.

The speakers answered audience questions about meaninglessness and purposelessness by pointing to the benefits of spirituality in helping patients find meaning and make sense of what they were experiencing. They also addressed the fact that community-based services, often not well-known and under-used, could be of assistance to patients.

Dr. Carmen Loiselle

The symposium was followed by an awards ceremony and cocktail reception.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ursula Leonowicz

Photos: Nicolas Morin

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