Journal of Cancer Survivorship

, Volume 8, Issue 4, pp 611–617 | Cite as

Health status, use of healthcare, and socio-economic implications of cancer survivorship in Portugal: results from the Fourth National Health Survey

  • Luís Pacheco-Figueiredo
  • Nuno Lunet



Understanding the morbidity and socio-economic implications of cancer survivorship is essential for a comprehensive management of oncological diseases. We compared cancer survivors (CS) with the general population regarding health status, use of healthcare resources and socio-economic condition.


We analyzed data from a representative sample of the Portuguese population aged ≥15 years (n = 35,229). We defined three groups of CS, according to the time since diagnosis and the latest cancer treatment: CS 1 diagnosis within 12 months of interview; CS 2 diagnosis more than 12 months before and treatment in the previous 12 months; CS 3 diagnosis and treatment more than 12 months before. These were compared with the general population, adjusting for differences in sex, age, and place of residence.


The prevalence of CS was 2.2 % (CS 1: 0.2 %; CS 2: 0.9 %, CS 3: 1.1 %). Self-perceived health status was worse among CS and short-time incapacity more frequent among CS 1 and CS 2. Health expenses were higher in the early stages of survivorship. Lower household income and financial difficulties were more frequent in CS 1 and CS 3 men, respectively.


This study confirmed the higher consumption of healthcare resources and worse financial situation among CS.

Implications for Cancer Survivors

Our study provides valuable information for understanding the global impact of cancer survivorship.


Neoplasms Survival Health survey Portugal 



The authors thank the National Health Systems Observatory (Observatório Nacional de Saúde), National Institute of Health Dr. Ricardo Jorge (INSA), Ministry of Health and the National Institute of Statistics (INE) for providing the data (Ministério da Saúde, Instituto Nacional de Saúde Dr. Ricardo Jorge; IP, Departamento de Epidemiologia/Instituto Nacional de Estatística: Inquérito Nacional de Saúde 2005/2006). Luís Pacheco-Figueiredo received a grant from the Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (SFRH/SINTD/60124/2009).

Conflict of interest

Luís Pacheco-Figueiredo and Nuno Lunet declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Predictive Medicine and Public HealthFaculty of Medicine, University of PortoPortoPortugal
  2. 2.Institute of Public Health, University of Porto (ISPUP)PortoPortugal
  3. 3.Life and Health Sciences Research Institute (ICVS), School of Health SciencesUniversity of MinhoBragaPortugal

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