Home  /  Resources  /  Effects of Lymphoma  /  Psychosocial Effects

Psychosocial Effects

Psychological Impact of Lymphoma

In the 2020 and 2022 surveys, over three-quarters of patients reported personally experiencing in the last year one or more of the following due to their lymphoma diagnosis: anxiety, body image concerns, changes in relationships, depression, fear, isolation, loss of self-esteem, and/or post-traumatic stress disorder.

  • Research has confirmed the 12-month prevalence rate for any psychological disorder is significantly higher in patients with cancer compared with the general population.2

  • Issues like fear, anxiety and depression have been proven to have negative impacts on quality of life, healthcare service use, adherence to cancer treatment and follow-up recommendations, and in some cases, overall survival.

  • The psychosocial and quality of life needs of patients with lymphoma remain understudied which is why research that is conducted through the GPS is so critical, it helps identify patients most likely to develop issues and require support, as well as help determine the best interventions to help patients cope

Read the whitepaper on the Psychological Impact of Lymphoma available for download in both A4 and letter size files below.

Fear of Cancer Recurrence

Fear of cancer recurrence (FCR) is defined as fear, worry or concern relating to the possibility that cancer will come back or progress.

FCR is among the most commonly reported psychosocial issues for cancer survivors.  It affects people with all types of cancer, and it may continue long after treatments are completed.

Fear remains the main issue for patients each time the survey is conducted, whether it be described as fear of cancer relapse or recurrence (FCR) or fear of progression (FOP). The recent LC GPS conducted in 2022 reported that, 50% of patients indicated they had FCR and almost half said they experienced FOP.

Fear of cancer recurrence is a unique and significant mental health issue. It can impact an individual’s quality of life and is associated with anxiety, depression and isolation. FCR can also hinder the ability to plan for the future.

FCR present itself in varying levels of severity:

  • Mild FCR – Occasional thoughts about cancer with peaks of anxiety that are resolved after a few days. These occasions are triggered by external factors like follow-up medical appointments.
  • Moderate to severe FCR – More frequent thoughts about cancer without external triggers (one or more time per week), a perceived inability to control these thoughts, and a strong feeling of related distress. 

While evidence-based strategies are not yet widely available, in recent years there have been many studies evaluating FCR interventions for cancer survivors.   Interventions that help manage FCR include:

  • Being mindful
  • Addressing fears
  • Managing uncertainty
  • Gaining control
  • Improving patient-healthcare provider communications
  • Handling stress through counselling

Read the report on Fear of Cancer Recurrence

Fact sheet: An overview of FCR symptoms and interventions. 

Therapy Overview: An overview of the ways to screen and assess, as well as treat FCR. 

Questions to Ask your Care Team: Designed to help patients understand the effects of FCR on their quality of life, the frequency of FCR, and where to seek support.