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

Cancer J. Sep-Oct 2006;12(5):432-43. doi: 10.1097/00130404-200609000-00012.


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.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Oncology Nursing / organization & administration*
  • Palliative Care*
  • Quality of Life*
  • Social Support
  • Survivors / psychology*