Fear of cancer recurrence: A study of the experience of survivors of ovarian cancer

Jamie Kyriacou, Alexandra Black, Nancy Drummond, Joanne Power, Christine Maheu


Purpose: The purpose of this study is to better understand fear of cancer (FCR) through the experience of ovarian and fallopian tube cancer survivors. 

Methods: This study used a descriptive qualitative design. Twelve participants in remission from ovarian or fallopian tube cancer were recruited. Researchers conducted face-to-face, semi-structured interviews and the content, transcribed verbatim, underwent content analysis.

Results: FCR has been identified as a significant concern for women in remission from ovarian cancer. Four themes emerged from the participants’ FCR experience: (a) uncertainty surrounding recurrence; (b) varied beliefs and sources of worry; (c) perceived risk of recurrence; (d) management of FCR.

Implications: Survivorship support can be optimized by nurses by screening for FCR, offering psychosocial support for women at risk for FCR, teaching and reinforcing adaptive coping strategies.

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