Last year in the UK over 60,000 cancer patients enrolled on clinical trials aimed at improving cancer treatments and making them available to all.
A study looking at the health care and support needs of cancer survivors
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This study was done to find out if people who have had cancer in the past get the health care and support they need. This study was supported by Cancer Research UK.
The researchers wanted to learn more about the needs of people who have been affected by cancer in the past but who no longer see a hospital doctor.
Summary of results
The research team found many people who’d had cancer didn’t have extra psychological or health needs. But some people who did have unmet needs may need more support.
This trial recruited people who’d had treatment for breast, bowel or prostate cancer at least 5 years before.
The research team asked 1,275 people to fill out a questionnaire about their psychological and health needs. They had 659 completed questionnaires returned to them. They also interviewed 40 people to find about their needs in more detail.
They found that the overall number of unmet needs was low, with less than half of those taking part having 1 unmet need. The most common needs were concerns about cancer coming back again or long term side effects.
They also found that people didn’t feel their family doctor (GP) was important in long term follow up after treatment for cancer because they were not cancer experts. And that having short appointments and seeing different GPs made it difficult to talk about long term issues
The research team concluded that many people didn’t have psychological or health problems, or a large number of unmet needs. But that a small number of people might need more support.
We have based this summary on information from the team who ran the trial. The information they sent us has been reviewed by independent specialists (
How to join a clinical trial
Dr Peter Rose
Cancer Research UK
National Institute for Health Research Cancer Research Network (NCRN)
Northern and Yorkshire Cancer Registry and Information Service
Oxford Cancer Intelligence Unit
University of Oxford
This is Cancer Research UK trial number CRUK/07/070.