(HealthDay News) — Fear of cancer recurrence (FCR) affects a considerable number of cancer survivors and patients, across cancer types and continents, according to a review published online April 7 in Psycho-Oncology.

Yvonne Luigjes-Huizer, from the Helen Dowling Institute in Bilthoven, Netherlands, and colleagues conducted a systematic review and individual participant data (IPD) meta-analysis on the prevalence of FCR in cancer survivors and patients.

All studies that used the short form of the validated Fear of Cancer Recurrence Inventory (FCRI-SF; range, 0 to 36; ≥13 = at least moderate; ≥22 = high) with adult cancer survivors and patients were included. IPD were obtained from 46 studies with 11,226 participants in 13 countries. The meta-analysis included 9,311 respondents.


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The researchers found that 58.8, 45.1, and 19.2 percent of the respondents scored ≥13, ≥16, and ≥22, respectively, on the FCRI-SF. With age, FCR decreased, and more FCR was reported for women than men. Across cancer types and continents, and for all time periods since cancer diagnosis, FCR was found.

“Knowing the prevalence and severity of fear of cancer recurrence for the general cancer population and for different subgroups is an important development, because it is essential for shaping health care provision, policy, and research on fear of cancer recurrence,” Luigjes-Huizer said in a statement.

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