People diagnosed with cancer at young age face social crisis during diagnosis


According to a new study, many young cancer survivors experience more social crisis during their diagnosis, which sometimes continues for years.

The study disclosed that during the first year of their diagnosis, cancer survivors may face some progression in their social lives, following this their social activities decrease considerably over time. They usually remain isolated from others who do not suffer from the disease.

Mostly, these people go through difficult phases of physical, emotional, psychological and social circumstances during young adulthood and adolescence.

The trauma of cancer and the treatment phase may increase these difficulties for a young individual. Many types of research have noticed that people with cancer face many difficulties in social life compared to people without the disease or older people.

Olga Husson, Ph.D., of the Radboud University Medical Center in the Netherlands and the team visited five U.S. medical organizations. There they questioned 141 cancer survivors aged between 14 and 39 years to participate in the research.

The researchers told patients to complete the survey during the time of their diagnosis and again after 12 and 24 months of the diagnosis.

Outcomes of the study

After two years of study, the researchers found that social activities are worse in the case of cancer patients, as compared to others.

During the first year of diagnosis, the social functioning improves slowly. But, it remains extremely poor after 24 months of the diagnosis, as compared to the healthy population.

The researchers also analyzed various aspects of social functioning over a time span. They noticed that at least one in three cancer survivors participated in lesser social activities.

Among these group, many patients were not receiving treatment, which had a negative effect on various aspects of their life. This enclosed concerns related to financial support, negative body image, work goals and relationships, as well as any future family planning.

In addition to this, it has been found that survivors had psychological hardships more than any physical symptoms. These patients have reported a high count of physical symptoms along with psychological distress.

The research study has been published in CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society.