Recovery issues in cancer survivorship: A new challenge for supportive care

The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center & School of Public Health, Columbus, Ohio 43210, USA.
The Cancer Journal (Impact Factor: 4.24). 09/2006; 12(5):432-43.
Source: PubMed


The growing population of cancer survivors represents a clear challenge to clinicians and researchers to look beyond the search for a cure and to address the multifaceted needs of those living with and beyond a cancer diagnosis. Common sequelae that disrupt the psychosocial aspects of life for adult cancer survivors after primary treatment include: fatigue; cognitive changes; body image; sexual health and functioning; infertility; fear of recurrence; PTSD and stress syndromes; family/caregiver distress; socioeconomic issues; and distress, anxiety, and depression. Psychosocial interventions, particularly group-based interventions and physical activity programs, have shown great promise in improving these outcomes. Future research will identify even better targeted, more efficacious, and more cost effective programs and disseminate them into cancer care settings. Healthcare providers must realize that they serve as vital gatekeepers to services that will help optimize cancer survivors' psychosocial as well as physical outcomes. Addressing these issues in the post-treatment period represents the new challenge to supportive care.

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    • "In life domains such as productivity, leisure and self-care, rehabilitation focuses on assisting patients to maintain and/or restore participation in self-care, leisure and productivity including work (Alfano and Rowland 2006). In these life domains occupational therapists (OTs) assist their patients to regain functionality by supporting them in activity and participation as proposed in the International Classification of Functioning, disability and health (ICF) (Haglund and Henriksson 2003). "
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    • "Increasing breast cancer survival rates have left greater numbers of survivors and their spouses to cope with the transition back to normal life. Such transitions often induce psychosocial stress relating to the fear of recurrence, the resumption of a sexual and intimate relationship and the uncertainty of life's meaning (Alfano & Rowland, 2006; Ganz et al., 2002; Hodgkinson et al., 2007). Patients with breast cancer and their spouses appear to have higher psychological distress when both of them hold a negative cognitive appraisal of stress (Bigatti et al., 2012). "
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    • "Nearly half of North American men will receive a cancer diagnosis in their lifetime (Canadian Cancer Society's Steering Committee on Cancer Statistics 2012; Jemal et al. 2008). Most will access medical care to treat their disease, but far fewer will obtain psychosocial resources important to coping with their illness (Alfano and Rowland 2006; McDowell et al. 2011). This pattern is not explained by a lack of need. "
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