Psychosocial support and cancer

The focus of the NHS Long Term Plan on personalised care, the National Cancer Patient Experience Survey and the new National Cancer Quality of Life Survey form important drivers to improve psychosocial care across London. The evidence for an integrated approach to supporting cancer patients with psychosocial support is clear:

  • In the year following diagnosis, around 10% of cancer patients will experience symptoms of anxiety and depression severe enough to warrant intervention by specialist psychological/psychiatric services.
  • Among those who experience recurrence of disease, the prevalence of anxiety and depression rises to 50%. Such difficulties can also be seen in 10-15% of patients with advanced disease.
  • 58% of people diagnosed feel their emotional needs are not looked after as much as their physical needs
  • Cancer patients have a 55% higher risk of suicide than those without cancer
  • Even 10 years after treatment, 54% of cancer survivors still suffer from at least one significant psychological issue
  • 67% of carers experience anxiety and 42% experience depression. Of these, over three quarters do not receive any support
  • The experience of cancer and its longer term physical and psychological consequences can also have a significant economic costs to individuals, families, communities and society.

Guidance and resources

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