The first pilot survey of cancer survivors ‘The Quality of Life of Cancer Survivors in England’ is published.
This is published alongside the second annual report on improving cancer outcomes.
As well as improving survival rates, we need to respond to the challenge of supporting more people to live well, beyond cancer, if England is to be among the best in Europe at tackling cancer.
Many cancer survivors speak of feelings of isolation and abandonment. They also need support with the effects of treatment, such as incontinence, which can have a profound impact on their quality of life.
People with specific cancers were asked about their quality of life after diagnosis.
The report provides a rich source of information about what cancer survivors need and a model for further patient surveys.
A year after their first diagnosis, for example, respondents reported how their quality of life had been affected:
- 47% feared their cancer could come back
- 27% were afraid of dying
- increased physical activity was associated with a better quality of life
The report summarises the results from a pilot survey, sent to a sample of almost 5000 survivors of prostate, breast, bowel and colorectal cancer and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, in the summer of 2011, and collected using Patient Reported Outcome Measures.
The report is aimed at commissioners, commissioning support units and providers to help them understand how to continuously improve after-care for cancer survivors.