Fear of cancer recurrence: an overview and Australian perspective

Phyllis N. Butow, Joanna E. Fardell, Allan 'Ben' Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Fear of cancer recurrence is broadly defined as the fear or worry that cancer could return or progress in the same place or another part of the body. It is frequently reported as an unmet need by cancer survivors, and does not appear to diminish with time since diagnosis and treatment completion. Fear of cancer recurrence is almost universal among cancer survivors, and those experiencing high levels of fear of cancer recurrence experience difficulties moving on with life after diagnosis and treatment, and have poorer quality of life. It is a prevalent and persistent issue for cancer survivors, with significant costs for the individual, family and society. Those who are younger have greater symptom burden and greater psychological distress are likely to have higher fear of cancer recurrence. Few intervention studies have been reported in the literature to date to guide health service provision. However, several studies are currently underway in Australia to develop empirically tested theory-driven interventions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-100
Number of pages6
JournalCancer Forum
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2015
Externally publishedYes


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