Psychosocial Issues and Quality of Life
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The age group 20 to 39 years includes survivors of childhood cancer and those diagnosed with and treated for cancer during young adult life. Much of what is known about the psychosocial consequences of cancer in this age range is based on work involving survivors of cancer in childhood. We argue that the impact of cancer in young adults is different from experiences during childhood. Key developmental tasks include negotiation of independence from the nuclear family, achievement of intimacy, and generativity (concern to establish and guide the next generation). All of these tasks can be challenged by cancer, and have led to concern about health-related quality of life. Given the diverse ways in which cancer can compromise young adults, there is a need for timely interventions. Attempts to improve knowledge, re-integrate into normal life and work, and promote self-care (eg, awareness of risks associated with smoking) are described.
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