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June 14, 2019

Cancer-Free Is Not Worry Free: Why Cancer Survivors Need Your Support 

Joyce Knestrick, PhD, CRNP, FAANP

Thanks to advances in cancer prevention, detection, treatment and follow-up care, there are 15.5 million cancer survivors living today. But even when cancer is in the rearview mirror, the effects can linger. While friends and family are quick to rally support during treatment, the aftermath of cancer can be just as devastating as the cancer itself.

June is National Cancer Survivor Month – an important reminder that cancer survivors are warriors who need support even after their cancer is gone. Challenges often include:

  1. A profound fear of the cancer returning, or new cancer being diagnosed
  2. Difficulty finding a job
  3. Financial hardship due to medical expenses, lost wages and reduced productivity
  4. Stress, anxiety and strain on personal relationships
  5. Other health problems that result from the cancer or treatment

If you know a cancer survivor, consider ways to provide support today just as you did when they were first diagnosed. Being cancer-free does not mean they are worry-free, so encourage those who are struggling to see a provider to help ease persistent symptoms and refer them to the right experts.