Emotional challenges bulletin

Read about emotional needs experienced by cancer survivors, as well as strategies for transition into primary and community care

When cancer treatment ends, survivor care needs will transition from specialty oncology treatment to primary and community care and they will often have challenges and questions about what happens next and where to seek help.

Throughout this transition, cancer survivors are frequently left to navigate a range of services without adequate support and without a clear understanding of who to see and where to go to get the right care.

Findings from the Experiences of Cancer Patients in Transition Study (Transitions Study) indicate that one to three years post-cancer treatment, survivors continue to experience a variety of emotional, physical and practical challenges.

Emotional concerns

Emotional challenges can include depression, anxiety, and fear about cancer returning, which can be difficult to recognize and are often left untreated.

There is so much emotional recovery after the treatment, both personally and with my family. It is a feeling of ‘wow I can’t believe this happened, and now what do I do.’ It’s that getting back to life as it was, but it’s not the same. I feel there are no resources or supports to help understand why depression or sadness sets in, when really I should be relieved and happy that it is over.

In this bulletin, emotional needs and challenges experienced by adult cancer survivors (30 years of age and older) are highlighted, along with key areas for strategic action to improve patients transition from specialty oncology treatment to primary and community care.

See other information related to this report such as survey data at systemperformance.ca.

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