Every year around 200 children and youth contract new cases of cancer in Switzerland.
Both the disease and the treatment place extraordinary burdens on those affected – patients, families, their social circles, but also the employees in medical departments. If the objective of treatment in years past was mainly to guarantee the survival of these children and youth, in recent years the focus has shifted increasingly to recovery and rehabilitation that preserves the greatest possible quality of life.
Today workers in psycho-social fields (psychologists, music therapists, social workers, teachers) work at the 9 paediatric oncology centres operated by the SPOG. They give advice, provide companionship, support and intervene. They give the affected persons guidance and provide therapeutic assistance. Their duties lie in supporting the existing resources and competencies as well as in the management, processing and prevention of difficulties and problems for these families. The type of assistance depends on the requirements, conditions and desires of the individual and his/her environment. Psych-social care and support is a necessary and recognised part of treatment for children afflicted with oncological diseases.