Special Correspondent

KOZHIKODE: A two-day national seminar on psychosocial oncology began here on Saturday, with Jan Stjernsvard, expert in cancer and palliative care, stressing the need to improve facilities to ameliorate psychological sufferings of terminally ill patients in the country.

Stressing its relevance to the Indian situation in his inaugural address, Dr. Stjernsvard said psychosocial oncology, which addressed psychological sufferings of patients having cancer and similar diseases, had to be taken up at the community level. It had been done already in a number of foreign countries, but was still in its infancy in India.

The conference, attended by delegates from within the country and abroad, is being organised on Kozhikode Medical College premises by the Institute of Palliative Medicine and the Kerala Initiative in Palliative Care.

Workshops and symposia on related themes are being held during the conference. Santhosh Chathurvedi and Seema Mehrothra, Professor and Associate Professor, respectively, of the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurological Sciences, and Manoj Kumar, consultant psychiatrist, Leeds, U.K., spoke.