Adult cancer survivors continue to face a variety of unmet needs years after treatment, including anxiety and chronic pain, according to a recent study published in Cancer.
Researchers at The University of Texas at Arlington and the University of Central Florida conducted a survey of 1,514 cancer survivors who were aged 18 or older. These patients were randomly chosen from population-based cancer registries across 14 states and included cancer survivors of the breast, prostate, colon, skin, bladder and uterus.
In an open-ended questionnaire, they were asked to divulge any needs that were not satisfied as cancer survivors.
After a six-person interdisciplinary team analyzed the answers and coded them into 16 themes, they found that the average number of unmet needs per survivor was 2.88, with breast cancer survivors identifying the most. Thirty-eight percent of survivors said they faced physical problems, making it the most common issue.
The team found that personal control, which was not previously identified in the literature of unmet needs and included the ability to make decisions regarding one’s own healthcare status as well as discuss cancer with one’s employer, was also dominant.
While the average number of needs decreased with age, they did not differ significantly based on gender. However, more male patients identified problems related to physical needs and personal control.
A team of researchers from The University of Texas at Arlington and the University of Central Florida have determined that years after going into remission, many adult cancer survivors still encounter challenges arising from their disease and its treatment.