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Do these words strike a chord with any of you? This quote is from one of the many people who have told us that they are struggling with the long-term effects of cancer and its treatment.
I think we can all agree that it’s good news that more and more people are surviving cancer, and that people with incurable cancer are living longer. But it’s important to remember that surviving is not always the same as being well.
Last week, Macmillan published research that shows that one in four people who have previously been diagnosed with cancer are still facing poor health or disability. The most common issues are fatigue, sexual difficulties and mental health problems.
Cancer treatment can be gruelling and intensive, so it’s not surprising that some people are left with long-term physical issues. And, after what can be a traumatic and distressing experience, the emotional impact can also continue to affect people for some time.
I also know from many of our Community members that they can be left feeling really isolated. Sexual and emotional difficulties can have an impact on people’s relationships, and a variety of issues can affect their work and social life.
Macmillan is calling for the NHS to do more to identify patients at risk of these problems and offer a ‘recovery package’ of support at the end of treatment.
Have you been affected by the long-term consequences of cancer and its treatment? What support would help you to cope? Let us know your experience in the comments below.
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© Macmillan Cancer Support 2015
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