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The University of Southampton
Health Sciences

Transforming quality of life for cancer survivors

There are over two million cancer survivors living with, and beyond, cancer in the UK yet until recently their needs were relatively neglected.  Our Macmillan Survivorship Research Group has conducted a series of pioneering studies which have drawn global attention to this patient group and informed major health policy across the world.

Research challenges

With growing disease incidence and better survival rates, it is expected that four million people in the UK will be living with the long-term consequences of cancer treatment by 2030. However health professionals are often unaware of the problems experienced by individuals, and patients who have completed primary treatment are frequently unprepared for the on-going impact of cancer on their everyday lives.

The problem with cancer care

The existing one-size-fits-all model of aftercare is outdated and does not provide adequate support for people living with, and beyond, cancer. Funding is focused on initial cancer treatment and often neglects the needs of a growing number of cancer survivors. Our researchers have highlighted the need for a complete transformation in care for this patient group.

Our research

Over a ten-year period, our MSRG has studied the experiences of cancer survivors demonstrating the need to develop a more effective model of aftercare and make better use of NHS resources.

Led by Jessica Corner, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences and Chief Clinician for Macmillan Cancer Support, and Claire Foster, Reader in Health Psychology, our Group has conducted a series of studies, the findings of which have been used to inform major health policy change in the UK.

Impact

Our innovative cancer survivor research is drawing global attention to the unmet needs of cancer survivors and supporting new resources targeted at this group, as well as shifting health policy agendas in the UK and overseas, so that the needs of cancer survivors are addressed.

As a direct result of our cancer survivorship research funding strategies and Government health policy has been altered so that support following cancer treatment is now given the same priority as initial cancer treatment.

Our cancer survivor researchers have also been instrumental in the formation of the Government-backed National Cancer Survivorship Initiative in the UK which is developing new models of care and new strategies to improve the quality of life for cancer survivors.

Often patients are not prepared for the on-going impact of cancer on their everyday lives
Living with and beyond cancer

Key Publication

Articles

Conference

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