Life after cancer: Transforming the post-treatment experience

Mind matters: Why emotional and mental health are vital to living well post-treatment

Many people living with cancer live with the fear of the disease coming back — a persistent worry that can lead to anxiety, depression and other issues that significantly affect their well-being.

The relationship between emotional and mental health and chronic diseases like cancer is complex — it is becoming increasingly clear they are two sides of the same coin:

  • People with chronic physical diseases are more susceptible to mental health challenges.
  • Those dealing with mental health challenges are at higher risk of developing chronic physical diseases.

By gaining a better understanding of this relationship, it will be possible to offer more holistic supports to people living with cancer and their families.

To help people living with cancer manage their emotional and mental health challenges, the Partnership has supported programs in two key areas:

Emotional challenges- survivorship

Emotional challenges
As people transition out of the cancer system, most face anxiety and fears about cancer recurrence, yet very few get the support they need. Making sure they can maintain their emotional well-being and regain a sense of control starts by getting a better understanding of the challenges they experience.

Mental challenges- survivorship

Mental health challenges
Chronic physical and mental health issues often co-exist — yet not all people living with cancer are able to access specialized help for their mental health concerns. Initiatives that look at both mental and physical health are critical to providing robust cancer survivorship care.

Discover how Andrea managed the challenges of her cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Promoting mental and emotional health with culturally appropriate care

When people from diverse populations receive care that is culturally safe and appropriate, they’re more likely to bring their emotional and mental health concerns to their healthcare providers. That’s why the Partnership promotes culturally safer care throughout the Canadian Strategy for Cancer Control, which calls on healthcare providers to recognize and reflect traditional First Nations, Inuit and Métis approaches to health and wellness.

  1. Canadian Partnership Against Cancer. Experiences of cancer patients in transition study: Emotional challenges [Internet]. The Partnership; 2018 [cited 2024 Jan 26]. Available from: