You might think that completing cancer treatment and surviving the terrible experience would be the ultimate relief, yet, a new report shares the heightened stress cancer survivors face, reports CBC News. The vast majority of survivors face changes, and about 33% of cancer survivors experience emotional and physical distress post-treatment and do not tell their doctors. Charlotte Kessler is one of those survivors as she described the years following her treatment very lonely and emotionally draining.
A report shared by the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer revealed the stress these survivors experience. The reports studied 30,000 people and it garnered significant results. 8 out of 10 survivors expressed having many physical challenges, while 7 out of 10 said they had emotional stress. 1 out of 3 said they stayed silent about how they’re feeling, refraining to disclose this information with doctors.
Mona Delisle, a rep from Cancer Control Alberta believes that the communication with these patients following treatment needs to be improved. Delisle reported that efforts are being made to implement a tool to identify their needs and help. Being a cancer survivor doesn’t mean that everything you experienced goes away; it’s now a big part of your life and will always be.
Charlotte told CBC that after her brain cancer chemotherapy ended in 2015, she faced the hardest part of the entire cancer experience. Cancer pulled her away from her job and made her feel guilty that she had caused her family so much stress. Whether these thoughts seem rational or not to someone on the outside looking in, they are very real emotions for the survivor and something they have to face every day post treatment.
Kessler expressed she is now seeking help consistently visiting Tom Baker Cancer Centre. This has really helped her come a long way, and she is happy to see that cancer survivors are starting to find opportunities to get the support they need.