Understanding and managing changes in survivor identity and relationships

Paul Y. Cheung, Ian H. Kerridge

Research output: Chapter in Book or Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Cancer and its treatment are associated with profound changes to a person’s identity and relationships. Some of these changes result in distress, while others contribute to flourishing. Understanding what these changes are and how they can be managed constitute important elements in contemporary posttreatment care. This chapter examines the evidence of the psychosocial impact of cancer and its treatment not only on survivors, but also on their significant others. Changes to survivor identity and intimate relationships, especially those within the first five years post-treatment, are discussed by drawing on and comparing a wide range of research findings. A number of practice implications are noted for counsellors, psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers and others caring for cancer survivors in professional roles.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWhen Cancer Crosses Disciplines
Subtitle of host publicationA Physician's Handbook
PublisherImperial College Press
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9781848163652
ISBN (Print)9781848163645
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Distress
  • Intimacy
  • Quality of life
  • Recurrence
  • Response shift
  • Self-concept
  • Sexuality
  • Survivorship
  • Treatment outcomes
  • Wellbeing

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