Evidence-Based Psychosocial Standards of Care Will Help Ensure Essential Comprehensive Cancer Care Is Available to All Children with Cancer and Their Families

WASHINGTON, DC, June 14, 2017 /24-7PressRelease/ — The St. Baldrick’s Foundation has endorsed the Psychosocial Standards of Care for Children with Cancer and their families to be published in a dedicated supplement of Pediatric Blood and Cancer. The scientific, evidence-based psychosocial standards define a minimum level of care that all children with cancer and their families should receive. The Standards were developed following rigorous research and academic requirements and processes, and involved over 60 clinicians and researchers from the US, Canada and the Netherlands.

The Mattie Miracle Cancer Foundation spearheaded the effort to create and implement Standards of Care to ensure patients and families have access to a minimum level of psychosocial care from the time of diagnosis, through survivorship, or end of life and bereavement care. “Having our child diagnosed with cancer, undergo treatment, and die from this disease, we learned that childhood cancer is not just about the medicine! The psychological impact of childhood cancer is just as real as the physical consequences for patients and their families,” said Vicki Brown, Co-Founder of the Mattie Miracle Cancer Foundation and mother of Mattie Brown.

“We need to remember that a cancer diagnosis creates vulnerabilities children usually haven’t experienced previously. Proper care should address the mental implications of diagnosis and treatment such as fear, stress, anxiety, depression and other devastating effects that impact a child’s health and treatment success,” shares Kathleen Ruddy, CEO of the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. “It is critically important that more is done to provide emotional and psychological support for families and patients throughout treatment and survivorship. We’re proud to fully endorse the Psychosocial Standards of Care for Children with Cancer developed by the Mattie Miracle Cancer Foundation as an important step in this direction.”

The development of the Psychosocial Standards of Care is a major step forward in addressing the needs of children with cancer and their families. The integration of psychosocial care along with disease-directed treatment improves the quality of life across the cancer trajectory. Depression and other psychosocial concerns can affect adherence to treatment regimens and decrease coping abilities. Therefore, making psychosocial care part of standard treatment maximizes positive treatment outcomes.

The St. Baldrick’s Foundation is the largest nongovernmental funder of childhood cancer research grants, funding more than $200 million since 2005 to support the most promising childhood cancer research. As a volunteer-powered organization, St. Baldrick’s empowers its supporters to raise funds through various fundraising platforms and advocate for childhood cancer issues through its Speak Up For Kids Cancer network.

Once the Psychosocial Standards of Care for Children with Cancer and Their Families have been published later this year, The Mattie Miracle Cancer Foundation and the team of pediatric oncology experts will work to encourage the rapid adoption of the Standards in clinical sites throughout the country. Learn more at www.mattiemiracle.com.

Mattie Miracle Cancer Foundation is a 501(c)3 public charity founded in the memory of Mattie Brown, who died at age 7 from Osteosarcoma, a type of childhood cancer. Mattie Miracle is dedicated to increasing childhood cancer awareness, education, advocacy, research and psychosocial support services to children, their families, and medical personnel. Children and their families will be supported throughout the cancer treatment journey, to ensure access to quality psychosocial and mental health care, and to enable children to cope with cancer so they can lead happy and productive lives.

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