Life after cancer can be brighter

A large number of Queensland cancer survivors say their diagnosis has made them a better person and led to positive life changes, new research from Cancer Council’s 1000 Survivor Study shows.

Cancer Council Queensland’s 1000 Survivor Study is an Australian-first project, assessing the physical, emotional and practical concerns of cancer survivors.

Almost 44 per cent of Queenslanders surveyed said their experience with cancer made them a better person, despite only 34 per cent having made a complete recovery from the disease.

Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson Katie Clift said the study showed a number of positive behaviour changes following a diagnosis of cancer.

“70 per cent of the Queensland cancer survivors surveyed tried to take better care of their health after their diagnosis,” Ms Clift said.

“Almost 50 per cent are now up-to-date on all recommended cancer screenings, around 48 per cent participate in regular physical activity and 44 per cent are leading a healthier lifestyle than before their diagnosis.

“Almost 34 per cent acknowledge that their diagnosis is serious, but they believe they will be able to return to life as it was before their illness.

“In comparison, the survey did find 14.5 per cent of cancer survivors feel cancer has interfered with the achievements of their life goals, and 9.7 per cent feel their life will never be good again.

“We urgently call on those distressed by a cancer diagnosis to reach out for help and support to cope.”

Cancer Council’s 13 11 20 is staffed by health professionals to offer support to all Queenslanders affected by cancer – whether their concern is physical, emotional or practical.

“If you know someone affected by cancer, encourage them to call 13 11 20,” Ms Clift said.

“We’re here to support all Queenslanders, affected by all cancers.

13 11 20 can connect patients and their loved ones with cancer counselling, peer support, accommodation, wigs and turbans, and referrals to specialised care.”

The 1000 Survivor Study was undertaken in 2014 and surveyed 1031 men and women to better understand the physical, emotional and practical concerns of cancer survivors in Queensland.

More information about Cancer Council Queensland and staying SunSmart is available at or 13 11 20.

For interviews, please contact:

Katie Clift, Executive Manager, Media and Spokesperson, Cancer Council Queensland

P. (07) 3634 5372 M. 0409 001 171