Note: The American Joint Committee on Cancer has recently published a new edition of the AJCC Cancer Staging Manual, which includes revisions to the staging for this disease. The PDQ Adult Treatment Editorial Board, which is responsible for maintaining this summary, is currently reviewing the new staging to determine the changes that need to be made in the summary. In addition to updating this Stage Information section, additional changes may need to be made to other parts of this summary to ensure...
Survivors of childhood cancer may have anxiety and depression related to their cancer.
Survivors of childhood cancer may have anxiety and depression related to physical changes, appearance, or the fear of cancer coming back. These problems may prevent survivors from returning to their normal routines and activities. They may also cause problems with personal relationships, education, employment, and health.
Some cancer survivors have post-traumatic stress disorder.
Being diagnosed with a life-threatening disease and receiving treatment for it is often traumatic. This trauma may cause a group of symptoms called post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD is defined as having certain symptoms following a stressful event that involved death or the threat of death, serious injury, or a threat to oneself or others. People who have survived very stressful situations, such as military combat or natural disasters, may also have PTSD.
PTSD can affect cancer survivors in the following ways:
Reliving the time they were diagnosed and treated for cancer, in nightmares or flashbacks, and thinking about it all the time.
Avoiding places, events, and people that remind them of the cancer experience.
Being constantly overexcited, fearful, irritable, or unable to sleep, or having trouble concentrating.
Family problems, little or no social support from family or friends, and stress not related to the cancer may increase the chances of having PTSD. Because avoiding places and persons connected to the cancer is part of PTSD, survivors with PTSD may not try to get the medical treatment they need.