New Talk About It Resources Aim to Accelerate Integration of Mental Health into Quality Cancer Care
BASEL, Switzerland & BEIJING & CAMBRIDGE, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–BeiGene (NASDAQ: BGNE; HKEX: 06160; SSE: 688235), a global biotechnology company, has released a report highlighting the challenges cancer patients and caregivers face in managing mental and emotional well-being. The data summarized in the report is based on a BeiGene-sponsored study by Cancer Support Community (CSC), a global nonprofit organization that provides free emotional support, navigation, and resources to cancer patients and their loved ones. The report and the newly launched CancerandMentalHealth.com website are part of the company’s comprehensive Talk About It: Cancer and Mental Health program, designed to elevate the important intersection of mental health and cancer care.
Today’s announcement was made in celebration of World Cancer Day on February 4 and kicks off a series of related initiatives led by BeiGene in partnership with cancer and mental health advocates.
Data shows that as many as one-quarter of people living with cancer are also living with depression and up to 20% with anxiety.i With support from BeiGene, CSC, which is dedicated to inspiring change that improves the cancer experience by engaging in research that sheds light on the realities of coping with a cancer diagnosis, conducted an online survey evaluating the care experiences of more than 600 U.S. cancer patients who self-identified as having faced emotional or mental health concerns. Findings from the survey illuminated key themes and challenges, including:
Emotional Distress is Prevalent Across the Cancer Continuum:
- Emotional distress is highest during diagnosis, treatment, and recurrence, but even those who are in post-treatment or have no current evidence of disease are often affected.
Many Patients & Survivors Are Not Receiving Mental Health Support:
- 60% of respondents were not referred to a mental health professional by their cancer care team, and two in five who specifically wanted or sought mental health support did not receive it.
- Of the 41% of respondents on medication for anxiety and 34% for depression, one-third indicated they did not receive professional counseling for emotional and mental health concerns.
Significant Barriers to Obtaining Mental Health Care Exist:
- Attitudinal barriers included wanting to solve the problem on their own (45%), thinking the problem would get better by itself (24%) and concerns about the treatments available (e.g., medication side effects) (22%).
- Instrumental barriers included inability to afford the cost (26%), being unsure where to find care (19%) and difficulty taking time off work (12%).
- Treatment stigma barriers included concern about being seen as weak (16%), not wanting mental health care on medical records (13%) and feeling embarrassed or ashamed (12%).
Patients Desire Interventions to Complement Both Medication and Counseling:
- 48% of respondents were prescribed depression or anxiety medication, but many wanted other services and activities to help reduce distress and improve emotional well-being, such as exercise (66%), meditation classes (62%), nutrition programs (61%), and support groups (60%).
These and other findings are included in the report released today. Additionally, the new CancerandMentalHealth.com website curates mental health resources for people living with cancer, their caregivers, healthcare providers and advocates.
“BeiGene believes in the importance of treating cancer holistically, with mental health being a vital part of comprehensive cancer care,” said Shreya Jani, Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs at BeiGene. “We are pleased to build on the Talk About It platform by sharing these findings to help ensure that all people impacted by cancer have access to the information and tools they need on their journey to wellness. We are grateful to the patients, advocates and experts who shared their insights with us, and appreciate Cancer Support Community’s partnership in helping us amplify patient voices through this research.”
CancerandMentalHealth.com features digital and printable resources for patients, caregivers and healthcare professionals that highlight the impact of a cancer diagnosis on emotional wellness. The website also provides links to resources offered by leading advocacy organizations to help patients and caregivers navigate their mental health care needs, including support helplines, online communities, and local support groups.
“Cancer is an overwhelming experience, and the abrupt transition into a world of treatment and testing can cause mental health needs to take a back seat,” said Terry Evans, a 22-year survivor of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and Director of the CLL Society’s Support and Education Network. “We applaud BeiGene for spearheading Talk About It and providing research and materials to validate the emotional distress of cancer survivorship and connect patients and caregivers to invaluable advocacy organization supports.”
With guidance from an advisory panel of experts in mental health, oncology, patient advocacy, and behavioral science, BeiGene will continue to develop additional resources, programming and public policy tools to help systematically integrate mental health and wellness into quality cancer care.
“Throughout my career as an oncology social worker, I have witnessed how mental health care services can improve emotional well-being during the cancer journey, as well as adherence to treatment plans and overall quality of life,” said Nicole Peeke, LCSW, ACHP-SW, Licensed Clinical Social Worker; Patients, Partners & Providers Working Together: A Strengths-Based Brain Cancer Program. “This new research and the Talk About It resources will help catalyze the integration of mental health into comprehensive cancer treatment policies and practices.”
About Talk About It: Cancer and Mental Health
BeiGene believes mental health support can improve quality of life and health outcomes for individuals impacted by cancer. Aimed at patients and caregivers, healthcare professionals and policymakers, BeiGene’s new and comprehensive program, Talk About It: Cancer and Mental Health, is designed to elevate the important intersection of mental health and cancer care. Talk About It will feature innovative empowerment strategies, advance public policy conversations, and inspire dynamic health equity initiatives to support people throughout their entire cancer journey. To learn more about Talk About It, visit http:///www.cancerandmentalhealth.com/.
BeiGene is a global biotechnology company that is developing and commercializing innovative and affordable oncology medicines to improve treatment outcomes and access for far more patients worldwide. With a broad portfolio, we are expediting development of our diverse pipeline of novel therapeutics through our internal capabilities and collaborations. We are committed to radically improving access to medicines for far more patients who need them. Our growing global team of more than 9,000 colleagues spans five continents, with administrative offices in Basel, Beijing and Cambridge, Mass. To learn more about BeiGene, please visit www.beigene.com and follow us on Twitter at @BeiGeneGlobal.
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and other federal securities laws, including statements regarding the ability for BeiGene’s Talk About It: Cancer and Mental Health program to provide access to information and tools to people impacted by cancer, BeiGene’s ability to continue to develop additional resources, programming, and public policy tools to help integrate mental health and wellness into cancer care, and BeiGene’s plans, commitments, aspirations, and goals under the heading “About BeiGene.” Actual results may differ materially from those indicated in the forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors, including BeiGene’s ability to demonstrate the efficacy and safety of its drug candidates; the clinical results for its drug candidates, which may not support further development or marketing approval; actions of regulatory agencies, which may affect the initiation, timing and progress of clinical trials and marketing approval; BeiGene’s ability to achieve commercial success for its marketed medicines and drug candidates, if approved; BeiGene’s ability to obtain and maintain protection of intellectual property for its medicines and technology; BeiGene’s reliance on third parties to conduct drug development, manufacturing and other services; BeiGene’s limited experience in obtaining regulatory approvals and commercializing pharmaceutical products and its ability to obtain additional funding for operations and to complete the development of its drug candidates and achieve and maintain profitability; and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on BeiGene’s clinical development, regulatory, commercial, manufacturing, and other operations, as well as those risks more fully discussed in the section entitled “Risk Factors” in BeiGene’s most recent quarterly report on Form 10-Q, as well as discussions of potential risks, uncertainties, and other important factors in BeiGene’s subsequent filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. All information in this press release is as of the date of this press release, and BeiGene undertakes no duty to update such information unless required by law.
i Krebber et al. (2013). Prevalence of depression in cancer patients: a meta-analysis of diagnostic interviews and self-report instruments. Psycho-oncology, 23(2), 121-30; Mitchell, A. J., Ferguson, D. W., Gill, J., Paul, J., & Symonds, P. (2013). Depression and anxiety in long-term cancer survivors compared with spouses and healthy controls: a systematic review and meta-analysis. The Lancet. Oncology, 14(8), 721–732.
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