Date: 07 Dec 2013

Psychosocial distress among young breast cancer survivors: implications for healthcare providers

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Abstract

Breast cancer (BC) experiences foster serious psychosocial problems among young survivors. Previous studies have repeatedly discussed younger age as a factor that puts women with BC at higher risk of psychosocial distress. Although most BC survivors receive the necessary information from healthcare providers on treatment options and procedures at diagnosis, they often fail to receive support and guidance after acute treatment has completed in dealing with the possible physical, emotional, social, and psychological effects of cancer. This article discusses common psychosocial problems experienced by young BC survivors, such as issues related to interpersonal relationships, sexuality, fertility, and employment. In particular, it examines influences of the Japanese sociocultural background on young survivors’ distress and considers the clinical implications for Japanese healthcare. The importance of integrating psychosocial care with routine oncology care cannot be overemphasized.