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Quarter Of Cancer Survivors Find Life After Illness Harder Than Treatment

A new study has found that at least 26% of breast cancer patients feel alone and depressed even after having treatment. Even more disheartening is that only 10% of the women surveyed said they felt positive after treatment. Has anyone here experienced this? We all know the physical toll that cancer can take, but this is another reminder of its emotional toll. You can read the full article below. As always, if you need help or someone to talk to, we are here for you and you can also call our Helpline at 844-275-7427.

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"More than a quarter (26%) of women diagnosed with breast cancer say life after treatment is harder than the treatment itself, a charity has warned.

New research from Breast Cancer Care suggests many survivors find treatment ending harder than having a breast removed or going through chemotherapy or radiotherapy.

Shockingly, only 10% say they felt positive and ready to move on when they were discharged from hospital treatment. And, of the over 800 women surveyed, more than half (53%) struggled with anxiety at the end of treatment and nearly a third (31%) with depression.

Yet almost half (42%) of those surveyed were not told by their healthcare team how to access information and support once hospital treatment ended.

Breast Cancer Care is warning women with breast cancer are being left out in the cold at this crucial time in their recovery.

To reach more women at this point, the charity has launched a new app, BECCA, which offers women instant access to support from the moment they finish treatment for as long as they need it.

The survey found three of the toughest issues women face at the end of treatment are:

80% fear their cancer coming back

79% struggle with fatigue

52% struggle with a lack of body confidence

Katie Akerman, 46, from Chichester, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014 when her youngest child was just seven months old. She struggled with anxiety after treatment.

“After attending hospital on a weekly basis for treatment, once it’s finished you’re just sent on your way and it feels like nobody is looking out for you anymore. Even family find it hard to understand that, for you, cancer is not over,” she said.

“I couldn’t put a name to it but I just felt panic-stricken. It was extreme over-reaction to things going on around me. I’d worry about my family getting killed in a car crash, or my young son choking in the night. I’d been overseas a lot for work, but suddenly I couldn’t breathe at the thought of getting on a train to London. My anxiety was controlling me and I didn’t have anywhere to turn.

“There needs to be more out there to help women understand what they’re going through and cope with the aftermath of cancer.”

Commenting on the findings, David Crosby, director of services and engagement at Breast Cancer Care, said: “These shocking figures show that, for the majority of women, breast cancer doesn’t stop when hospital treatment ends. Getting back to ‘normal’ can feel like a huge mountain to climb, and many find that leaving hospital after their last appointment is the hardest moment of all.

“Around 691,000 people are alive in the UK after a diagnosis of breast cancer, and the numbers are only set to rise. Those who have faced breast cancer have already been through enough, and should not be left to cope alone with ongoing mental health issues, debilitating physical side effects and constant fear of what lies ahead.

“The NHS must ensure every breast cancer patient has access to support once their hospital treatment ends. Despite commitments to make this happen, there has been worryingly little progress to turn this promise into reality.″

Source: bit.ly/2fKLrC6

5 Replies
oldestnewest

I had breast cancer and didn't worry much as it was Stage I and I had aggressive treatment. But now that I have uterine (ovarian) cancer Stage IVb and am finishing treatment for a recurrence, I am having an extremely difficult time emotionally.

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Have you spoken to anyone else about these feelings miyoshi? It can be so difficult managing all of this at once. I'm glad you reached out to us here(we've also got an Ovarian Cancer Helpline you can call at 866-537-4273). Hoping all the best for you-please keep us updated. xoxo

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Thanks, I do see a therapist and I will take advantage of the helpline. I am particularly frustrated with oncologists who don't really listen. I was very happy with the AMA with Dr. Don Dizon and his book is super helpful as to best practices (which I do understand keep changing).

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I don't know much about breast cancer spreading to ovaries. My has spread to my bones so far. I know there are treatment opportunities out there. I also know someone who battled mestaticized ovarian cancer over 25 years! Please remember hope is always there. I am very spiritual so I know God is there too. I wish you all the best as you struggle to overcome this horrible disease. Thank you for sharing your post.

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I am so sorry to hear about your cancer spreading to your bones. This is very sad news. We are all facing end-of-life issues, nothing makes it easy, but I hope you find some peace. Thanks for your kind words and support. The uterine/ovarian cancer is separate from the breast cancer--probably an unidentified BRCA mutation.

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