Memories of adult survivors of childhood cancer: Diagnosis, coping, and long-term influence of cancer


Purpose: This study examines adult childhood cancer survivors’ memories about diagnosis, coping, and life effects of cancer.Research approach: This qualitative study used inductive content analysis to analyze open-ended responses completed in a survey conducted in 2018.Participants: 27 adult survivors (15 male, 12 female) of childhood cancer, ranging in age from 20–39, who were at least 5 years post treatment.Methods: Participants recruited through Amazon MechanicalTurk responded to a survey which included open-ended questions about experiencing childhood cancer to examine their:(1) memories of initial reactions to cancer; (2) memories of coping during cancer; and (3) reflections of the cancer experience on who they are today.Findings: Inductive content analysis was performed to reveal categories related to the stories shared by participants regarding their memories of childhood cancer experiences. Participants’memories of diagnosis reflected categories such as psychological reactions and family support. Memories of coping reflected themes of family support and distraction. Participants’ reported strength and resilience as impacts of cancer on their present lives. Implications for Psychosocial Providers: These findings indicate that survivors of childhood cancer have strong, specific memories about diagnosis and coping during cancer and highlight the potential long-term implications of having cancer. The findings also illustrate the importance of appropriate psycho-social support for childhood cancer patients and survivors.

Cancer survivor, Childhood cancer, Memories
Burton, W. M., Paschal, A. M., Jaiswal, J., Leeper, J. D., & Birch, D. A. (2022). Gendered racial microaggressions and black college women: A cross-sectional study of depression and psychological distress. Journal of American College Health, 1–8.