Quarter of survivors find life after cancer harder than actual treatment

life after cancer

Breast cancer patients often find it more difficult to cope with life after cancer that the actual treatment, a leading charity has found

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

From the survey, it was discovered that more than a quarter (26%) of women diagnosed with breast cancer say life after treatment is harder than the treatment itself.

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.

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

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.”

He added: “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.”

Interested in more cancer news?

14 Replies to “Quarter of survivors find life after cancer harder than actual treatment”

  1. I have been fighting Breast Cancer since 9.27.2012. I found the lump on myself self-breast exam. Immediately had my mammogram,biopsy and then had my left breast removed. I thought I had the top Oncologist and surgeon. Saw my Oncologist for 4 1/2 yrs went thru Femar, Ibrance,Flasodex, and Afinitor. Afinitor like about killed me kept taking him all the symptoms it was causing. He kept ignoring my complaints.Finally he took me off. I ended in the hospital. Found another Oncologist. Oh my God what a difference. The care, explanations, the patience, during your office visit, Yes, I must admit you have wait an hour or so to see him. BUT once he comes in the exam room. He actually ask how you have benn, listens to you, does not rush you in or out. You don’t feel like cattle at the slaughter pen. You have access to Literature, Cancer fighting foods, helpful hints on this fight against this Cancer demon. I have been given hope, yes I am still scared but have to think positive and pray.

  2. Its not just breast cancer patients. I have Lymphoma and just finished treatment. I struggle with fatigue and also knowing i cant be cured just treat. Its a lonely frightening road.

    1. I am also Lyphoma survivor and beeing in remission is not beeing cured. Have a loads of side effects after almost 2 years of last R CHOP chemo. Still not able to work.

  3. “Normal”??? I am now a damn freak with one breast and an arm twice the size of the other one. I’ve gained 40 lbs and have aged 3x faster than I would have otherwise.

  4. After cervical cancer , going through the treatment … I’m now struggling with all the side effect … it’s had a big impact on my life and has changed me so much … I found hard to except that the after care is just not there… I now suffer with bladder and bowel issues , osteopenia, early menopause, it’s so draining

  5. As a ovarian stage 4 & breast cancer stage 2 survivor ,and now the limphedemia I too struggle with all of the emotional bs that comes s with it, am I gonna be ok? Is it gonna come back , why did I survive & some one else loved one dies? Why me ? & Etc… But I know that the struggle will never be over as this is my journey and I don’t want anyone else in my family to have to bare! Or my friends ! I just feel I am still here as my journey is not done and I believe the cannabis oil ,and flower ,and edibles are key to getting thru what is trying kill you . Please open your mind to educate yourself as your in charge of what drives your soul , into knowing what is best for you & your healing. ! Me I prefer cannabis to opids any day of the year for any kind of pain that is associated with the cancer recovering process & my oncologist is amazed that I am still kickn it!! Peace & ❤

    1. You hit the nail on the head. It is very uncomfortable when people treat you differently after cancer. It solidifies fear and makes the journey so much harder. Although they mean well, they should treat you just like they did before. I know, I’ve been there.

  6. At 40 I had my right breast removed at 55 I had my left breast removed and at 69 I had a complete hysterectomy, am I scared, every day. At 38 my daughter had a double mastectomy and reconstruction, she will be spending her 40th birthday in Paris tomorrow, if she is scared you would never know it. I guess it just depends on how we are made up inside

  7. I was diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this year,they refused to give me a mastectomy because I was too high risk of infection,after 3 operation’s I was told I had to have a mastectomy,I’ve now had 4 operations in 11 weeks my last op was 8weeks ago and I had to have a bread reduction on the healthy breast at the same time as they did the mastectomy.I know I’m lucky I didn’t have chemo or radiotherapy,but I’m still getting pain and I get tired very easily,I also think I may have nerve damage in my left shoulder and arm,my consultant doesn’t seem interested,the cancer has gone and if i don’t need more surgery I should just wait ‘a bit’ longer to recover,I cant have fatigue because I didn’t have radiotherapy,and I am more scared now than when I was first diagnosed,sometimes you just don’t know what to do,if your consultant isn’t interested where are you supposed to turn

  8. I had ovarian cancer 3c six years ago and I struggle with tiredness and body image I have had further symptoms but the new doctors I am with show no interest at all (I have had rectal bleeding) I am finding it difficult but I am alive and I will carry on because I am beating this awful condition my advise to all is just carry on we are at the end of the day the lucky ones with love to all survivors xx

    1. Dear Jenny: I was diagnosed with Stage IV ovarian in 2011. I then had a prophylactic masectomy in 2015. BCRA 1 positive. Rectal bleeding is a very serious symptom. If you Dr isn’t listening to tour concerns, please get a 2nd opinion ! Carry on Teal Sister !!! ❤

  9. Due to have lymph clearance week today and then radiotherapy and also tamoxifen. But reading the side effects of the drug together with the possibility of the lymphodema I am scared witless. So far the hospital support has been good at the main treatment stage. I have yet to discover what it will be like post treatment. In two minds now whether to go through with lymph clearance or drugs. So confused and upset frankly.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *