The war against cancer is not yet won, so it may appear unusual that The Lancet is devoting a series of publications to the issue of cancer survivors. Today there are a significant number of patients who survived cancers but maintain a series of problems in their quality of life.

The authors of a series of publications describe the long-term effects and risks in patients who have had cancer, and the management of the most frequent clinical problems, including the care of the growing number of people treated for cancer during childhood and adolescence. Physical issues such as pain, fertility problems, and treatment-related health risks are common. Long-term psychosocial effects around sleep, fatigue, cognitive impairment, fear of recurrence, and concerns about relationships, finances, work, and education are also prevalent and under-addressed. For people who had cancer during childhood or adolescence, survivorship can last for decades, and while the risk of recurrence might fall over time, long-term treatment-related effects can accumulate. They might also have to contend with interrupted physical, emotional, social, or educational development and difficulties associated with the transition to adult care. Cancer survivors’ experiences and needs are diverse. Evidence shows that tailored interventions are more effective than generic interventions; however, such interventions are not well supported in either oncology or primary care. A systematic but individualized approach, which acknowledges and supports complex medical, social, and personal needs is required1.

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 Disclaimers

  • The material in these reviews is from various public open access sources, meant for educational and informational purposes only
  • Any personal opinions expressed are those of only the author(s) and are not intended to represent the position of any organization(s)
  • No official support by any organization(s) has been provided or should be inferred

References

  1. The Lancet. (2022). Cancer care: beyond survival. The Lancet, 399(10334), 1441. doi: 10.1016/s0140-6736(22)00698-5