The role of age at the onset of cancer in relation to survivors' long-term adjustment: A controlled comparison over an eight-year period

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Abstract

The goal of the study was to explore the role of age in survivors' long-term adjustment to cancer (n = 155). Data, both quantitative and qualitative, was assessed at 3 months, 15 months, and 8 years after diagnosis. A reference group from the general population (n = 120) was included to be able to distinguish the effects of cancer from those of aging. The findings showed that, in the first year after diagnosis, survivors' physical functioning (especially in those aged 45-65 years) was strongly affected by cancer. In the long term, their physical functioning was more affected by aging. Regarding psychological functioning, survivors younger than 65 years reported more depressive symptoms than similar-aged references, but only at 3 months after diagnosis. In the long term, younger survivors reported more cancer-related thoughts and a greater search for meaning in the cancer experience than older survivors. Overall, the findings provide an intriguing description of the complex and interwoven processes of age and aging in the process of adjustment to cancer. Copyright (C) 2004 John Wiley Sons, Ltd.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)740-752
Number of pages13
JournalPsycho-oncology
Volume13
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct-2004

Keywords

  • QUALITY-OF-LIFE
  • BONE-MARROW TRANSPLANTATION
  • BREAST-CANCER
  • DEPRESSIVE SYMPTOMS
  • INFORMATION NEEDS
  • MENTAL-HEALTH
  • DISTRESS
  • PERSPECTIVE
  • MASTECTOMY
  • ADAPTATION

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