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Helping survivors to adjust after cancer

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  • Article: Harmer V (2012) Helping survivors to adjust after cancer. Nursing Times; 108: 6, 12-16.
  • Author: Victoria Harmer is team leader clinical nurse specialist, Breast Care Unit, Imperial College Healthcare Trust, London and a trustee for Against Breast Cancer.

This article will tell you about:

  • What a cancer survivor is
  • The consequences of cancer treatment
  • How nurses can help and support cancer survivors

You would be likely to reference this article if you were researching:

  • Cancer
  • Cancer survivors
  • Cancer treatment
  • Treatment effects

In what situations will this article be useful to me?

This article will be useful as you will come into contact with patients who have previously been treated for cancer. Although they are now being treated for another condition, their history of cancer treatment will still be impacting on them. They may have a number of long-term issues including health and psychological from their treatment. This article details the wide range of issues from altered body image to employment that are involved.

Questions for your mentor/tutor:

  • How can I integrate my knowledge about cancer survivors into my care of patients?
  • How will cancer survivorship impact on my care of patients in the future?

Student NT Decoder:

Cancer survivor - these are people who have completed cancer treatment and those who are undergoing treatment.

Fatigue - this is one of the most common effects of cancer treatment. Cancer fatigue can come and go in its intensity but it can impact significantly on daily activities. Symptoms can include muscle tiredness, shortness of breath on exertion and a general lack of energy.

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