cancer and its treatment, sometimes referred to as “the price of survival,” follows investments in cancer survivorship research directed to better understand the long-term consequences of cancer (Ganz, 2002b). Because most of the research conducted to assess QOL of cancer issues among survivors involves individuals with certain types of cancer (or certain treatments), descriptions of the cancer survivorship experience are provided by selected cancer site. What follows are brief reviews of the quality of life literature for individuals with a history of cancer of the breast, prostate, and colon and rectum, and Hodgkin’s disease. The terms “late effects” and “long-term effects” can be used to distinguish health effects according to their onset (Box 3-1). However, in this report, the general term “late effects” is used to describe the consequences of cancer and its treatment, regardless of their date of onset.
There is limited information on the prevalence of late effects, but there is a general recognition that they have become more common, largely as a result of the more frequent use of complex cancer interventions,