Problems After Treatment
This is a report from Science Daily about a study out of Northwestern that was presented at ASCO last month. In my experience, the usual rule of thumb is that it takes at least as long as the total duration of treatment (start the count from the day of diagnosis and continue through the final day of radiation therapy or chemotherapy) to feel fully psychologically and physically well. For some women, it takes even longer. Here is the start of the report and then a link to read more:
Cancer survivors can't shake pain, fatigue, insomnia, foggy brain
Five years after cancer treatment ended, many survivors still suffer symptoms
CHICAGO --- When people finish treatment for cancer, they want to bounce back to their former vital selves as quickly as possible. But a new Northwestern Medicine study -- one of the largest survivor studies ever conducted - shows many survivors still suffer moderate to severe problems with pain, fatigue, sleep, memory and concentration three to five years after treatment has ended.
"We were surprised to see how prevalent these symptoms still are," said study co-investigator Lynne Wagner, an associate professor of medical social sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and a clinical health psychologist at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University. "This is one of the first looks at what's really happening for survivors in terms of symptoms and treatment among community-based treatment settings across the U.S."
The persistent pain in survivors who are cancer-free and no longer receiving any treatment is particularly puzzling, Wagner noted, because good treatment exists. "It seems we haven't come a long way in managing pain despite a lot of medical advances, " she said. "This is eye opening. It tells us we need to be better in clinical practice about managing our survivors' pain."