Cancer survivors get insufficient care: 1000 Survivor Study

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Around 80% of Queensland cancer survivors do not receive the care or support they need after treatment, Queensland’s 1000 Survivor Study has found.

Cancer Council Queensland has revealed the first findings of its 1000 Survivor Study – an Australian-first project assessing the physical, emotional and practical concerns of cancer survivors.

The 1000 Survivor Study found 94% of Queensland cancer survivors surveyed experienced physical concerns following cancer treatment, but 78% did not receive care to address one or more of these concerns.

Around 95% also reported one or more emotional concerns after treatment, but 82% did not seek help with coping for one or more of these concerns.

Cancer Council Queensland CEO and Board Member of the Union for International Cancer Control, Professor Jeff Dunn, says the findings are a call for joint action.

“An overwhelming number of Queensland cancer survivors are experiencing physical and emotional challenges that adversely impact on their daily lives,” Prof Dunn says.

“Our survey – the first of its kind in Queensland – highlights a significant breakdown in the post-treatment care of cancer survivors.

“As a community, we must do more to empower cancer survivors by promoting access to services and support that improve their health and wellbeing.

“This is not beyond us – we have the know-how – as a community we need to strengthen connections with those affected by cancer to ensure they can attain an optimal quality of life.”

Around 72% of survivors who didn’t seek care for physical concerns and 66% who didn’t seek help for emotional concerns reported they had ‘learned to live’ with their condition.

“The most commonly reported physical concerns were energy, sexual function, concentration, neuropathy and pain,” Prof Dunn says.

“Depression, grief and identity, and a fear of cancer recurring were the most commonly reported emotional issues.”

“We encourage all members of the community to be more aware of cancer care and to promote cancer prevention and early detection.”

The 1000 Survivor Study was undertaken in 2014 and surveyed 1030 men and women to better understand the physical, emotional and practical concerns of cancer survivors in Queensland.

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