Anxiety is an emotional and/or physiologic response that is a common experience among patients coping with any cancer diagnosis. Anxiety responses can range from normal reactions to extreme dysfunction that can affect decision making, adherence to treatment, and numerous aspects of quality of life and function. Anxiety can occur at different times throughout different phases of cancer care. Usually, anxiety is highest shortly after diagnosis and decreases over time; however, 20%–30% of patients continue to experience anxiety after completion of treatment.

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This topic was updated on September 1, 2016.

2011-2017 Authors

Diane G. Cope, RN, PhD, ARNP-BC, AOCNP®, Caryl D. Fulcher, MSN, RN, CNS-BC, Angelia Berkowitz, DNP, MSN, APRN, FNP-BC, Helene Coignet, RN, OCN®, Susanne Conley, RN, MSN, CPON®, AOCNS®, Ashley Doherty, MPH, BSN, RN, Lorraine Drapek, RN, AOCNP®, FNP-BC, Kaitlin Feldenzer, BSN, RN, OCN®, CHPN, Patricia J. Friend, PhD, APRN, AOCN®, Hee-Ju Kim, PhD, RN, OCN®, Shamsha Lalwani, RN, Tammie L. Sherner, MSN, APRN-CNS, Patsy Smith, RN, PhD, Thiruppavai Sundaramurthi, PhD, RN, CCRN, OCN®, Meghan L. Underhill, PhD, RN, AOCNS®, and Deborah K. Walker, DNP, FNP-BC, AOCN®

ONS Staff: Margaret M. Irwin, PhD, RN, MN, Christine M. Maloney, BA, Kerri A. Moriarty, MLS, and Mark Vrabel, MLS, AHIP, ELS


2009 Authors

Susan A. Swanson, RN, MS, AOCN® and Lisa Kennedy Sheldon, PhD, APRN-BC, AOCNP®

ONS Staff: Linda H. Eaton, MN, RN, AOCN®


2008 Authors

Susan A. Swanson, RN, MS, AOCN®, Amy H. Dolce, RN, APN, MS, AOCN®, CHPN, Kathy Marsh, RN, Julie A. Summers, RN, BSN, and Lisa Kennedy Sheldon, PhD, ARNP, AOCNP®

Research Consultant: Terry A. Badger, PhD, RN, CS, FAAN

ONS Staff: Linda H. Eaton, MN, RN, AOCN®