Overcoming the Fear of Cancer Recurrence

Heal, Heal Fall 2022, Volume 10, Issue 03

For many cancer survivors, a dark cloud hangs over them after treatment ends, as they fear their disease coming back.

For some cancer survivors, the end of treatment is an exciting time and they are ready to get back to their life. But for many, a dark cloud continues to hang over them, as anxiety about potentially having to go through another cancer diagnosis creeps in.

One cancer survivor described this time in survivorship as never feeling like she’s out of the woods and hesitating to spend money elsewhere in fear that the cancer may come back.

This common anxiety is called the fear of recurrence and can affect 2 in 3 cancer survivors, according to a recent study. The cover story for this fall issue of Heal® digs further into how the fear of recurrence can negatively affect cancer survivors’ daily lives. But most importantly, experts offer advice on how to overcome this fear with worry sessions, journaling and more.

As CURE®’s 20th anniversary celebration continues, Heal® spoke with two experts about the past 20 years of development in survivorship care plans. Twenty years ago, survivorship care plans were just a piece of paper and not a process, as one expert noted.

But today, they are utilized much more, giving survivors a better idea of what to expect during survivorship and what they need to keep up with, such as follow-up appointments. But is more improvement needed in the next 20 years?

Also in this issue, cancer survivor, Karen Reynolds, describes her health transformation and how it has greatly affected her physical, mental and medical health. She always knew she had to make healthier choices after surviving cancer, so she decided to take control during the COVID-19 pandemic. After exercising more frequently and eating a healthier diet, she is proud to have lost 35 pounds and is living an optimum healthy life.

Speaking of healthy choices, it’s time to start incorporating fall recipes and vegetables into your diet! This issue of Heal® offers three great recipes that include those delicious fall vegetables that are finally back in season. Make sure to try out the pumpkin pudding to satisfy that sweet tooth.

For more news on cancer updates, research and education, don’t forget to subscribe to CURE®’s newsletters here.