Addressing the Emotional Scars of Cancer
There is a vacuum of support when it comes to helping people heal and move forward beyond a cancer diagnosis. Whether facing feelings of depression, isolation, fear of recurrence, survivor guilt, anger, or loss, many people struggle to navigate from cancer back into “normal life.” Often the emotional byproducts of the cancer experience go untreated and impact the mental and physical health of patients and their ability to integrate back into their families and communities.
The emotional scars of cancer stretch far beyond patients and survivors. When factoring in professional and family caregivers, the number of people impacted by cancer multiplies exponentially – and innovative support interventions are needed to address the unseen scars of the disease. By using volunteering and travel as a healing mechanism, as well as providing tangible tools for expanding the story beyond cancer, A Fresh Chapter gives people impacted a meaningful way to heal and move forward.
Growing Number of Cancer Survivors
According to the American Cancer Society, there are currently 15.5 million cancer survivors in the U.S., and this number is expected to grow to 20.3 million by 2026. Unfortunately, services aimed toward healing the emotional challenges of cancer remain limited, mostly focused on traditional in-person and online support groups. Consider the following:
- At least 35% of people impacted by cancer experience significant emotional distress. More than 50% of those experiencing distress don’t seek traditional support. 
- Distress is the most under-reported and common side effect of cancer 
- Highest levels of distress often happen 13-24 months post treatment 
- Mortality rates in breast cancer patients suffering from depression is 25-39% higher 
- Volunteering (in the population at large) is associated with lower depression and increased well-being. 
Eminent author and psychiatrist Viktor Frankl once said that ‘suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds a meaning.” A Fresh Chapter is providing an invaluable service to patients with cancer by supporting a patient with cancer’ healing process through service and travel and by allowing individuals to re-examine their lives from an empowering perspective. There is no medication that can offer this growth.
— Dr. Arash Asher, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Make a Donation Today
A Fresh Chapter participants come from across the cancer spectrum, providing donors a unique and innovative way to support the broader cancer community, create meaningful connections and heal the emotional scars of the disease.
Sources:  ACS Cancer Treatment and Survivorship 2014-2015  National Comprehensive Cancer Network practice guidelines for the management of psychosocial distress;  Yalez, B (2013);  Journal of Clinical Oncology, 2011;  Dr. Suzanne Richards, University of Exeter Medical School, 2013