Why is it important to be aware of the common unmet needs cancer survivors face?
Being aware of the common unmet needs many cancer survivors face can improve the level of care you offer as a healthcare professional, as well as enhance the quality of life for cancer survivors in your care.
The most common unmet needs often fall into two distinct categories: physical and emotional. According to a recent LIVESTRONG report, common physical challenges experienced by cancer survivors include fatigue, concentration, sexual functioning, and neuropathy. The report highlights fear of recurrence, anxiety or depression, grief, and concern for family members’ risk as the greatest emotional challenges experienced by cancer survivors.
On average, 20% or fewer of the cancer survivors who reported experiencing these issues received care for them. It is crucial that healthcare professionals involved in all levels of cancer survivors’ care be aware of these common unmet needs in order to identify them early and help alleviate them. Since cancer survivors often transition back to a primary healthcare provider following active treatment for their cancer, it is important that professionals outside of the oncology field are also aware of these concerns and needs.
IOM Report Delivering Quality Cancer Care