Living with and beyond cancer: an evolving landscape
We are constantly reminded of the growing number of people who are surviving cancer, and yet there is still a gap in our understanding of what this means in real terms. What does it mean for those affected by cancer? What does it mean in the wider context for health and social care? And what does it mean for cancer nursing?
It is good news that people are living longer, but with previous projected figures suggesting an increase from approximately 2.5 million people in the UK currently living with cancer to 4 million by 2030 (Maddams et al, 2012), action is required if we are to ensure the best support and care possible. van Scheppingen et al (2011) showed that there were ‘meetable’ unmet needs for people with cancer. Pitman et al (2018) reported that approximately 50% of people with a cancer experience psychological distress; depression affects up to 20% of people with cancer, and anxiety affects 10%, compared with figures of 5% and 7% prevalence in the general population. Gaps in services still exist.
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