Member Spotlight: CanSupport

Cancer is a diagnosis that spells a death sentence for many people, the poor being especially vulnerable. In India, the disease is generally discovered too late, and if treatment is still possible, its costs are unaffordable. As a result, 80% cancer patients are diagnosed with advanced disease presenting in stage III and IV. Every hour about 60 patients die from cancer and in pain as less than 2% of these have access to adequate pain relief.

The trauma can be devastating for the patient and the family who have nowhere to turn for support once cancer treatments fail or they are declared ‘beyond medical help’ due to terminal cancer. This is especially true for the poor who become deeply indebted and even destitute. What they desperately need instead is affordable, holistic care in their homes that will keep them comfortable, functional and positively engaged.

Since 1996, CanSupport’s unique model filled this chasm and subsumed palliative care approach into cancer management, providing the greatest opportunity for continuing care across the trajectory of cancer and actualizing the quality of life with cancer in a meaningful and compassionate manner.

Today, CanSupport is North India’s largest home-based palliative care service provider. With 29 teams looking after 2200 patients at any time in 5 states of India (Delhi, Haryana, UP, Punjab and Jharkhand). All our services are free of charge.

Below are CanSupport’s services and programs:

1.Home Based Palliative Care Services: This service is provided to patients and caregivers by multidisciplinary teams of qualified doctors, nurses and counselors who routinely visit patients registered with them at their homes.

2.Outpatient Clinics: CanSupport runs 8 daily Pain & Palliative Care Outpatient Clinics in Delhi and Punjab (including one Mobile Clinic in Delhi). The clinics allows intervention early in the cancer trajectory and continuity of care even in an outpatient set up.

3.Day Care Services: Since 2002, CanSupport runs a Day Care Programme for children and adults. While children participate in a host of creative activities under supervision, parents share experiences with each other and receive emotional support in a group setting.

4.CanSupport Helpline: The Helpline provides information and emotional support to cancer patients and their family members. Manned by trained counselors, this is a confidential service that breaks barriers of distance and seeks to empower the caller.

5.Financial and Other Resource Facilitation: CanSupport mobilizes financial aid for poor patients for their treatments, costs of investigations, expensive medicines, supplies and equipment resources through government schemes as well as networking with organisations.

6.Education, Training & Research: CanSupport runs educational programs in palliative care for doctors, nurses, counselors, paramedical staff, medical and nursing students/interns, psychologists, social workers and interested individuals. We also run tailor-made training modules to help start new palliative care services. State Governments have invited CanSupport to replicate the model in their healthcare institutions

CanSupport’s achievements have been recognized both at home and abroad. In 2017, we were declared a “Public Health Champion” by the World Health Organization, WHO.

This information was provided by CanSupport.

About our Member Spotlight Series

Introducing our Member Spotlight Series, where we shine a light on the incredible work and impact of our member organisations in the field of palliative care. Each installment of this series is dedicated to showcasing the exceptional efforts of one organisation, highlighting their dedication to improving the lives of individuals facing serious illnesses and their families.

Each spotlighted organisation shares a common mission: to enhance quality of life, alleviate suffering, and provide comfort to patients and their loved ones during one of life’s most vulnerable periods. From pioneering advancements in pain management and symptom control to addressing psychosocial needs and spiritual support, our members are at the forefront of shaping the future of palliative care.

Through this series, we not only honor the dedication and expertise of our member organisations but also aim to raise awareness about the importance of palliative care. By highlighting the invaluable contributions of these institutions, we hope to foster a deeper understanding and appreciation for the specialised care and support they provide to individuals facing serious illnesses.

Published on: 4 August, 2023 | Last modified: 10 August, 2023