Cancer survivors are living in fear but help is available

LARGE numbers of cancer survivors are reporting unmet needs following their all-clear diagnosis, with an increasing number of cancer survivors living in fear their cancer will return, but without adequate psychological support to cope.

Despite the highest ever survival rate for all cancers at 66%, up to 70% of cancer survivors have reported clinical levels of fear of their cancer returning, with close to a third of all cancer survivors experiencing psychological issues, including anxiety or depression in the six months following their cancer.

Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson Katie Clift said around 180,000 Queenslanders were alive today after a diagnosis of cancer in the past 25 years.

"Up to one-third of all cancer patients suffer clinically significant distress and few seek help or treatment for that distress," she said.

"Life does not always go back to normal following a cancer diagnosis.

"Services like Cancer Council Helpline 13 11 20 and our free Cancer Counselling Service are staffed by fully qualified psychologists to assist cancer patients and their families from diagnosis, right through treatment and beyond."

For more information, phone the Cancer Council Helpline on 13 11 20 or visit http://www.cancerqld.org.au.


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