Cancer Survivors Stuck in Limbo
Reported June 02, 2008
(Ivanhoe Newswire) — Long-term cancer survivors arent getting the guidance and care needed during a crucial time, according to a group of Scottish researchers. A recent study found many patients have finished their oncology treatments but are not receiving support to manage their ongoing symptoms.
The impact of cancer and cancer treatment on the long-term health of survivors is substantial and many of them remain very symptomatic, with poor quality of life. Clearly a proportion will unfortunately be diagnosed with recurrent cancer at some point, Professor Marie Fallon was quoted as saying. Fallon is a professor of palliative medicine at the University of Edinburgh. Palliative medicine is any form of medical care concentrating on reducing the severity of disease related symptoms.
After treatment, cancer survivors can experience an array of problems and symptoms including pain, sexual difficulties and lymphoedema, the chronic swelling caused by the failure of lymph glands to drain properly, often triggered by surgery and radiotherapy. They also face psychological problems like depression and anxiety. Dr. Fallon and her colleagues have published their research and recommendations in a special issue of the European Journal of Cancer focusing on palliative care.
SOURCE: European Journal of Cancer, 2008;44:1069-1071