Addressing the needs of cancer survivors: issues and challenges

Expert Rev Pharmacoecon Outcomes Res. 2008 Oct;8(5):443-51. doi: 10.1586/14737167.8.5.443.


This paper reviews the consequences of improving cancer survival rates for health services and for future research. The good news that people are living longer following a cancer diagnosis brings with it consequences. There are growing numbers of people who live for many years following primary cancer treatment, yet little information exists as to the health and well-being of individuals with cancer over the long term. Data from the few studies of the well-being of cancer survivors suggest that while, in general, individuals report that they are in good health, a substantial minority experience long-term physical, social and economic consequences, and make extensive use of health services as a result. There are few services targeted at supporting long-term cancer survivors or minimizing the potential physical or emotional consequences to enable individuals to return to productive lives following treatment. A research agenda to address these issues is proposed.