AUTHORS OF THE SURVEY
Anne Nally cancer survivor Jennifer Blighe cancer survivor Eileen O’Sullivan
cancer survivor Jacqueline Daly cancer survivor Dr Helena Bartels and Prof Donal Brennan
Life After Cancer Clinic
Women with a history of cancer often suffer with symptoms related to treatment long after their cancer diagnosis.
These symptoms are often deemed to be “less important” if a women has recovered after cancer treatment, and a narrative often exists where women who are deemed to be disease free or in remission should almost be thankful for this and put up with whatever long term symptoms they might suffer from.
The extent to which women endure these symptoms in their day to day lives is both poorly understood and often not addressed in follow up care.
Premature menopause, sexual dysfunction, pain and insomnia are just a small number of the many long term symptoms women endure during or after cancer treatment.
Until recently these problems have received little attention, however a research program funded by the Irish Cancer Society and partners including the HSE, The Mater Private Hospital, the National Cancer Control Program, Breakthrough cancer Research and Pfizer Ireland aims to address some of these issues.
We recently invited women with a history of cancer to take part in a survey focusing on menopausal symptoms, sleep disturbance and anxiety over a 4 week period. These specific areas were chosen as proven evidenced based interventions exist that may address some of these issues and improve women’s quality of life.
If we can measure the existing impact that these symptoms have on women living with or after cancer, it will improve our ability to develop future services to support women and address a variety of other long term complications of cancer treatment.
Read the results of the survey here.