What are some of the psychological symptoms a cancer survivor may experience?
Common psychological symptoms include:
Fear of cancer recurrence: This can cause unnecessary worry, but can also be a motivation to discuss health changes with the physician.
Grief: Grief comes from loss, and loss for a cancer patient might include overall health, fertility or physician independence.
Depression: About 70 percent of cancer survivors will experience depression at some point in their lives.
What are some of the physical symptoms a cancer survivor may experience?
Physical symptoms may occur immediately after treatment or further down the road:
Fatigue: This is the most common complaint of cancer survivors, especially during the first year of recovery.
Memory/Concentration Loss: Researchers are studying why this occurs. Many survivors describe problems paying attention, finding the right word, or remembering new things.
Pain: Because chemotherapy and surgery can damage nerves, some patients may experience pain after treatment.
Lymphedema/Swelling: Breast cancer patients are especially susceptible to developing lymphedema, which is swelling caused by the build-up of lymph fluid.
Mouth/Teeth Problems: Patients who have had radiation to the head or neck area may develop symptoms such as dry mouth, cavities, change in sense of taste, etc.
Be sure to talk to your doctor about your psychological and physical symptoms.
When do I meet with the Survivorship Coordinator and what should I expect?
You can request a meeting with the Survivorship Coordinator upon completion of your last treatment. She will go through a treatment summary and Plan of Care with you, as well as address any immediate concerns or questions.