Life force is derived from one another
“Life force or spiritual energy is derived from one another – this is the principle upon which many patients’ organizations operate. The impact of people undergoing or having undergone the same experiences and are willing to share what they have learnt, is huge.
The knowledge gained from one’s own experience and learning how to deal with the situation is unique.” So said the long-term President of the Estonian Cancer Society Prof. Väino Rätsep on the tenth birthday of the society, and these words are enduring.
The Estonian Cancer Society is devoted to training support staff and has organised, in cooperation with the National Institute for Health Development, several training sessions in across Estonia.
To date, 148 support persons have received training and the Estonian Cancer Society has now established a support system complete with support and medical staff.
Healing and training camps
An important aspect of the Estonian Cancer Society is providing psychosocial support for cancer patients.
According to society members, the most awaited and for many, the most important event of the year is our annual national health and training camp, where all the sub-organisations of the Estonian Cancer Society are involved as both organisers and participants. Patients with all types of cancer have attended the health and training camps which have been organised since 2005. In serene and picturesque settings, the days are filled with workshops, lectures and therapeutic activities. The latest treatment options are explored, psycho and adaptation training sessions are conducted, experiences are shared and individual advice is offered by specialists in their respective fields.
Patients and their families can seek face to face counselling and advice at the Estonian Cancer Society counselling centre (address, Viru Street 5, Tallinn). The services of a psychologist are also available if needed and can be prearranged. Each Thursday from 12 noon to 3 PM, it is possible to visit our mammologist, Dr. Astrid Järvet, who can advise patients in connection with breast prostheses. The Estonian Cancer Society imports Silima prostheses produced by the German company Thämert.
At the North Estonia Medical Centre clinic, there is an information room for cancer patients who need help. Here, the Estonian Cancer Society Medical Advisor, Dr. Tiiu-Liis Tigane, the Head of the North-Estonian Association of Cancer Patients, Merike Värik and survivor Tiina Pajula offer councelling and advice.
At the South-Estonian Cancer Society (address Tiigi 11, Tartu), patients and their family members can get advice from a doctor and nurse on cancer-related medical and psychosocial issues.
Good advice and practical help from the information line 800 2233
Since 1994, the Estonian Cancer Society has made available an information line where both cancer patients and their families can get reliable advice and help. This service is toll free when calling from a land line. People who need help are counselled by experienced doctors, nurses and psychologists who accept phone calls in Tallinn and Tartu. The caller can elect to remain anonymous since it is often easier to talk about cancer-related concerns and fears, especially where a family member is involved. All calls are kept confidential. The number of people calling in to the information line has steadily increased over the years and the line is very busy during counselling hours.
The information line 800 2233 is available each work day from 10 AM to 12 noon and 6 PM to 8 PM.