Does fear of cancer recurrence differ between cancer types? A study from the population-based PROFILES registry

M.A. van de Wal, L.V. van de Poll-Franse, J. Prins, M. Gielissen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Knowledge of factors associated with fear of cancer recurrence (FCR) may inform intervention development and improve patient care. The aims were (1) to compare FCR severity between cancer types and (2) to identify associations between FCR, demographics, medical characteristics, information provision and health-related quality of life.
Cross-sectional data were obtained from the Patient Reported Outcomes Following Initial Treatment and Long-Term Evaluation of Survivorship registry. We included stage I and II survivors diagnosed with melanoma (n = 469), colorectal cancer (n = 861), endometrial cancer (n = 688), thyroid cancer (n = 218), Hodgkin (n = 103) and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (n = 276). Cancer survivors completed questionnaires on FCR (Impact of Cancer scale – Health Worries subscale), satisfaction with information provision (European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer, Quality of Life Questionnaire (EORTC-QLQ) INFO25, satisfaction scale) and health-related quality of life (EORTC-QLQ C30, Short Form 36-item).
A total of 2615 survivors completed the Impact of Cancer scale – Health Worries subscale. No significant differences in FCR severity were found between any of the cancer types (p = 0.063). A younger age, female gender, stage II disease, a shorter time since diagnosis, scheduled follow-up appointments and comorbidity were associated with higher FCR (p < 0.01). Satisfaction with information provision was negatively correlated with FCR severity (r = −0.16, p < 0.05). Demographic and medical factors accounted for 6% of explained variance in FCR. The full model, also including health-related quality of life, explained 15% and 19%, respectively.
Fear of cancer recurrence seems to be a universal concern of cancer survivors rather than a cancer type-specific problem. Gender, age and medical factors were identified as risk factors.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)772–778
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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