News Release

How common is fear of cancer recurrence in survivors and patients?

Peer-Reviewed Publication


A recent analysis of published studies found that more than half (59%) of cancer survivors and patients experience at least a moderate level of fear of cancer recurrence and that about one in five (19%) have a high level of fear. 

The analysis, which is published by Wiley in Psycho-Oncology, included 46 studies from 13 countries. Investigators found similar fear of cancer recurrence rates in survivors and patients. On average, younger people and women experienced more fear of cancer recurrence. 

Additional research is needed to not only identify which patients desire support to address their fear of cancer recurrence but also to determine how to tailor interventions to different levels of fear and to individual needs and preferences. 

"Knowing the prevalence and severity of fear of cancer recurrence for the general cancer population and for different subgroups is an important development, because it is essential for shaping healthcare provision, policy, and research on fear of cancer recurrence," said lead author Yvonne Luigjes-Huizer, a PhD candidate at the Helen Dowling Institute and the University Medical Centre Utrecht, in the Netherlands. 

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About the Journal

Psycho-Oncology is concerned with the psychological, social, behavioral, and ethical aspects of cancer. This subspeciality addresses the two major psychological dimensions of cancer: the psychological responses of patients to cancer at all stages of the disease, and that of their families and caretakers; and the psychological, behavioral and social factors that may influence the disease process. Psycho-oncology is an area of multi-disciplinary interest and has boundaries with the major specialities in oncology: the clinical disciplines (surgery, medicine, pediatrics, radiotherapy), epidemiology, immunology, endocrinology, biology, pathology, bioethics, palliative care, rehabilitation medicine, clinical trials research and decision making, as well as psychiatry and psychology. 

About Wiley

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