Lasting impact: Understanding the psychosocial implications of cancer among military veterans

Gregory P. Beehler, Amy E. Rodrigues, Morgan A. Kay, Marc T. Kiviniemi, Lynn Steinbrenner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


This qualitative study aimed to identify Veterans' perceptions of how cancer affects their life following treatment, particularly in relation to treatment side effects and identity as a cancer survivor. A diverse sample of 35 Veteran cancer survivors participated in semistructured, individual interviews. Thematic analysis revealed the enduring impact of diagnosis and chronic uncertainty regarding recurrence, psychological side effects that were periodic and typically self-managed, and physical side effects as common, but considered an acceptable trade-off for increased chances of survival. Perceptions of the term cancer survivor varied considerably among participants. Implications for survivorship wellness and care planning are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)430-450
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Psychosocial Oncology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2013


  • Veterans
  • cancer survivors
  • psychological distress
  • side effects
  • wellness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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