BeiGene Aim to Accelerate Integration of Mental Health into Quality Cancer Care

03 February 2023 | Friday | News

BeiGene Releases Report and Launches in Conjunction with World Cancer Day to Help Patients and Caregivers Overcome Barriers to Access
Image Source : Public Domain

Image Source : Public Domain

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 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.

“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.”

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 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.” 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.”

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