Meeting Coverage / ESMO

Survey Says: Support Is Lacking for Cancer's Lingering Effects
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fairly difficult
Survivors report dissatisfaction with long-term support
Long-term side effects associated with cancer and its treatment are a burden for a substantial proportion of cancer survivors, according to follow-up results of the FiX study.

Cancer survivors continue to experience taxing symptoms such as fatigue and sexual problems years after diagnosis, and a number of these survivors are unhappy with the support they have received for these long-term issues, reported Martina Schmidt, PhD, of the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg, during the virtual European Society for Medical Oncology meeting.

In a follow-up survey, most of the 1,348 included survivors reported being rather satisfied or very satisfied with the medical care they received in treating their cancers, 7.9% said they were very dissatisfied or rather dissatisfied, and about one in seven (14%) reported being very or rather dissatisfied with the care and support they received for longer-term side effects or consequences of their disease or treatment.

"I'm a bit conflicted about saying only 7% of people were unhappy with their tumor care," said discussant Dorothy Keefe, MBBS, MD, CEO of Cancer Australia. "It means 93% were happy, but it's still a significant number of people. But 14% -- twice as many -- were unhappy with side effect care. This is disappointing, but not surprising, because the system does focus much more on treating cancer than side effects."

She noted that as cancer survival increases, symptoms and side effects become a more prominent issue.

"Increasing survivorship will lead to more…
Mike Bassett
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