Rana was diagnosed with breast cancer following a routine mammogram, and immediately embarked on a year-long journey to fight the disease.
The word ‘cancer’ came as a shock for the family and was initially difficult to accept. Her thoughts immediately turned to her daughters and whether she would see them graduate. The diagnosis hit her family hard.
Rana began an intense treatment program at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, with her family by her side. Inevitably, the chemotherapy and hormone treatments took their toll on Rana physically. But the psychological impact was also significant. She felt an immediate impact on her emotional health, feeling very down, upset, and unmotivated.
Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi takes a holistic approach to cancer care. Alongside the medical treatment that Rana was receiving, the team from the Preventive Medicine & Executive Health Program supported Rana address the psychological impact of the disease. The team addressed Rana’s mental health and discussed her feelings in-depth. Together, they explored ways to change her mindset so she could re-engage with her life and crucially, set achievable goals for her to work towards.
The hospital’s Lifestyle Oncology Program worked with Rana to address lifestyle factors that could support her recovery, such as diet, exercise, and reducing stress. The program’s goal is to empower patients by giving them the tools that will not only help improve their health and prevent other lifestyle-related diseases from developing but to support the medical treatment they are receiving for their cancer and crucially, help prevent the cancer from returning.
The holistic approach the team take to cancer care not only focuses on ensuring the patient’s medical and emotional needs are being supported by the doctors and nurses within the hospital, but they also assess support outside the clinical setting. The team works with family and friends of the patient to identify ways they can support – a very important part of improving the mental health of the patient.
Rana has now completed her cancer treatment. She has improved her physical and mental health, as well as many other aspects of her life, and has come out of her treatment healthier than ever. She says “The entire team at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi were an enormous support. They offered me comfort and power. Together, we took it step by step and we fought it. And I will continue to fight with all the power I have.”