Kure Nursing School, Japan
Title: Cancer Counseling by Nurses in association with Pathology Clinic
Biography: Takako Nakanishi
In Japan, the Cancer Control Act was passed in 2006. Consequently, our center has been proactively conducting palliative care promotions. Concerning health insurance coverage, the “Cancer Counseling Fee” became payable for health insurance remuneration as of April 2010. The cancer counseling fee covers the service provided to patients diagnosed with malignant tumors in an environment with sufficient consideration of their psychological states. Physicians with experience in cancer treatment and full-time nurses with experience with cancer patients collaborate to explain and consult with patients to allow them to select a line of treatment upon full understanding of and consent to diagnoses and treatment methods. At our center, cancer patients are offered cancer counseling in all clinical departments, and an explanation by a pathologist in a pathology clinic plays an important role in performing well-organized cancer counseling. When explaining the diagnosis to patients in the pathology clinic, the pathologist also attends to the patients’ emotions while listening to their anxieties and empathizing with their pain. Patients that accurately understand the conditions of their illness and the treatment’s policies and effects are more likely to consent to the explanation by the attending physician and proactively accept the standard therapy by the attending physician, which increases medical compliance. The combination of the explanation by a pathologist in the pathology clinic and cancer counseling by a nurse can improve the mental disposition of these patients.