Those who have been through cancer know that lifesaving cancer treatments can be debilitating for patients. According to a recent report from the United Kingdom, many people go on to suffer from long-term disabilities after surviving cancer treatment. For many cancer survivors, there can be long-term problems with bowel and/or urinary incontinence, fatigue, heart problems, mental health issues, and other issues.
While surviving cancer is better than the alternative, these conditions can sometimes affect a cancer survivor’s ability to work gainfully and have a high quality of life. Research does show that rehabilitation can help cancer survivors reduce the incidence of disability and improve their day-to-day functioning, but all too often they are release without any guidance on how to deal with the potential impairments that could develop.
The best thing cancer survivors can do, say experts, is to ask their doctors for a referral for cancer rehabilitation programs. Such programs are tailored to meet the needs of each person’s condition. Referrals for such programs should be sought even before cancer treatment is begun.
When disabilities do develop for cancer survivors, financial support may be available through Social Security disability. In some cases, the cancer diagnosis alone may be enough to be approved for benefits—certain types of cancers are deemed serious enough to meet one of Social Security’s official listings.
Often, though, a cancer diagnosis alone will not be enough to be approved for SSD—there must be other impairments present to build up the case.
Source: Web MD, “Cancer survivors ‘left with long term health problems’,” Peter Russell, July 19, 2013.