Cancer Survivors Feel Under Pressure To Return To 'Normal Life' After Receiving All Clear, Study Finds

For many cancer survivors, receiving the all clear does not mean the battle is over.

Recent research into what life is like for those who have had cancer found that nearly half (43%) of survivors felt under pressure to return to "normal" immediately after their treatment ended.

What's more, more than a third (35%) of cancer survivors said they felt emotionally drained after receiving the all clear.

The research has been conducted by Bupa in line with the re-launch of their Cancer Survivorship Programme TV advert (featured above).

The advert shows a father struggling with his day-to-day routine after receiving the all clear. It aims to highlight the importance of ongoing support for cancer survivors from friends, family, colleagues and medical experts after treatment has ended.

Bupa gathered their survey results by talking to 429 cancer survivors about their experiences.

Although a relatively small sample, the results of the survey still highlight the fact that surviving cancer brings its own emotional difficulties.

A total of 22% of those surveyed said they felt higher levels of anxiety after receiving the all clear than they did while receiving cancer treatment.

A fifth (20%) also admitted that they didn’t know whether what they were experiencing was "normal" or not after receiving the all clear, while 18% said they felt less in control than they did during treatment.

"Being diagnosed with, and surviving, cancer can be a long and emotional journey, and ‘getting back to normal’ might be more difficult than people initially think," Jayne Molyneux, business change manager at Bupa UK comments.

"As our research shows, people who have been given the 'all clear’ often feel drained, unprepared or unsure who to turn to, and that returning to normal can take much longer than expected."

Under Bupa's Cancer Survivorship Programme, a dedicated cancer nurse is available for as long as customers and their families need them (even after recovery), and can offer support on emotional issues and practical guidance.

The survey also found that being diagnosed with, and surviving cancer, can encourage people to change their lifestyles for the better.

In fact, two fifths (41%) exercise more and nearly half (46%) spend more time doing the things they enjoy.

Meanwhile 49% of those surveyed have taken steps to improve their diet for the better.

Molyneux adds: "Cancer impacts everyone in a different way, which is why it’s vital that the right support is in place."

Mailet, Breast Cancer Survivor (New York City)

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