Impact of Cancer on Romantic Relationships Among Young Adults: A Systematic Review
The aim of this review was to determine the impact of a cancer diagnosis and history on young adults’ ability to initiate and maintain romantic relationships. MedLine and PsycInfo databases were used to identify articles that address dating, romantic relationships, or marriage among 18- to 45-year-old cancer survivors. Twenty-one relevant articles were identified. Findings indicate that young adult cancer survivors struggle with when/how to disclose their cancer history to potential partners, are delayed in initiating their first romantic relationships, have fewer romantic relationships than peers, and are less likely than peers to marry. Young survivors report that their cancer experience impacts their long-term relationships in both positive and negative ways. In summary, young survivors face significant barriers to establishing and maintaining romantic relationships. Those who have difficulty establishing romantic relationships may benefit from receiving additional support from other sources, including family members, friends, and (in some cases) mental health professionals.
KeywordsYoung adult Cancer survivors Dating Relationships
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
Carolyn Rabin declares that she has no conflict of interest.
Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent
This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.
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