In Better Cancer Care: a systemic approach the authors reposition thinking, practice and policy about cancer. They suggest that the illness and its impact are best understood in the wider context of people''s whole lives and that treatment should move away from a purely disease and individualistic understanding. Based on their findings from the largest study of its kind, the authors describe the experiences of people who have recently been diagnosed with cancer. At its core, this book proposes just one message: the experience of cancer affects not just individuals. Though the disease resides in individuals, its effects are felt across far-reaching contexts and multiple relationships. Taking a systemic approach to cancer care means recognising the need to understand the entire context in which people experience and make sense of their illness; particularly their interconnectedness and interrelationships with others. In the case of cancer, this means broadening out from a patient-centred approach to embracing the wider context in which the illness is experienced, including the relational and social aspects of the impacts of cancer and cancer care. The book highlights critical junctures where practice can be better geared to a systemic understanding. Crucially, this falls on demonstrating the pivotal role that wider relationship and social networks play. Building on their empirical research the book develops a theory of an enhanced culture of caring to strengthen services'' abilities to support those diagnosed with cancer. The study has national and international relevance for people working in cancer care and, by extension, for all those treating people coping with life-limiting or life-threatening diseases. about the authors The authors are all members of staff at the Cancer Care Research Centre at the University of Stirling.
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