By 2022 it is estimated that there will be 18 million living cancer survivors in the United States (Norris et al., 2013). This can be attributed to the fact that approximately 70% of cancer patients are now living five or more years past their original date of diagnosis. Although survivors are experiencing an increased life expectancy, this population has been predisposed to elevated risk of developing serious morbidities and are still at risk for premature mortality due to adverse effects of their treatment (Loonen et al., 2018). This population faces both physical and mental health challenges that lead to high rates of comorbidities (Escoffery et al., 2016).
Cancer survivors face unique physical, emotional, social, and financial challenges and require a specific subset of needs to be met after diagnosis and treatment. Within the cancer survivor population there is a demand for specific resources to help counsel and support those making the transition from a patient in active treatment to a survivor. We expect that the medical care, lifestyles, and routines of cancer survivors and their families are often disrupted and changed after active treatment. This may have deleterious effects on cancer survivors’ well-being, but the extent of the disruption or impact has not been documented.
It is important to understand cancer survivors’ unmet needs, quality of life, and overall concerns post treatment to be able to address these issues in the future. This survey will provide the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center with data to reference for future research and initiatives. SKCC clinicians, researchers and leadership can use the results of this study to provide ongoing patient programming, connection to resources, and changes to clinical care.
Fiore, Jenna, "Assessing the Wellbeing and Unmet Needs of SKCC Cancer Survivors" (2021). Master of Public Health Capstone Presentations. Presentation 389.