Understanding Quality of Life

Published on: 4 June 2021

We are supporting Public Health England, NHS England, and NHS Improvement to better understand the quality-of-life outcomes that matter most to people living with cancer and their families through the launch of the nationwide Cancer Quality of Life Survey

Samantha Tordesillas, Programme Manager for Personalised Cancer Care at the South East London Cancer Alliance (SELCA), tells us more about the survey.

What is the Cancer Quality of Life survey? 

More people are surviving cancer than ever before which is really excellent progress. But living with cancer and the effects of its treatment can have a difficult and long lasting impact on people’s physical, emotional and social wellbeing. This is not to mention the effect on their families and networks.  

Quality of life means different things to different people, but it matters to everyone. So the survey asks people how they are doing and their answers can be related to their cancer diagnosis and treatment, other illnesses, or other things happening in their life.  

Why is it so important to hear from people living with cancer? 

This is a great opportunity for us to hear about the quality of life of people living with cancer – both the good and the bad.  

We will use this information to work out how we can plan services to support people with cancer in south east London to live as well as they possibly can, with a focus on what really matters to them.

We need as many people as possible to complete the survey so that the information we collect truly speaks for all people with cancer. 

Who can take part? 

From the start of this year, all patients diagnosed with breast, prostate or colorectal cancer in England will have been invited to complete the survey at 18-months after their diagnosis.  

The 18-month window helps us better understand the longer-term impacts of cancer treatment, many of which may not become obvious until sometime after treatment is completed.  

People with other cancer types will be included from July 2021 onwards. This includes rarer and less survivable cancers.  

How can they take part? 

There are lots of different ways that eligible patients can take part.  In the first instance, they will receive a direct invitation from Public Health England to complete the Quality of Life survey.

The survey is easy to complete and generally takes between five and 10 minutes. If patients do not choose to complete the survey online they will be sent a paper copy as an alternative. 

The survey is available in large print or can be completed over the phone including in different languages, by calling 0800 783 1775. This free helpline can also be used to respond to any queries or difficulties.

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