Fear that cancer may come back

In the beginning, the support is there more; from the medical profession, friends are still attentive, family are there every moment and therefore you feel quite safe … but now, years down the track, you are like everyone else; the only difference is you HAD cancer. I think that as time goes on we can feel quite alone and frightened without really realising it. – Robyn

We know that many people who have had breast cancer worry that their cancer may one day come back (recur). This is a very normal response to a cancer diagnosis. Being fearful that your cancer might return can affect your quality of life, your relationships (including with your medical team), and the way you think about and plan for the future.

BCNA has developed a range of resources to help identify and manage fear of breast cancer recurrence. The range includes a series of short videos and a fact sheet with practical tips and coping strategies.

The videos feature information from a woman diagnosed with breast cancer about how she manages her fear of recurrence. There are also videos from an oncology social worker who supports people dealing with fear of recurrence issues, and a leading breast surgeon.

It can feel very isolating. You go from having nurses that you’re seeing regularly and people ringing to see how you are, and then it feels like everyone has gotten on with their life. – Carrie, oncology social worker

The videos are available on our website, bcna.org.au, and our YouTube channel. You can download or order a copy of the fact sheet from our website or by phoning BCNA on 1800 500 258. You can also connect with others who have experienced breast cancer and learn how they cope with fear of recurrence by joining our online network. Visit onlinenetwork.bcna.org.au.

Video of Kym

Issue 78
Autumn 2017