Susan Krigel on Fear of Recurrence Among Cancer Survivors

September 23, 2015
Susan Krigel, PhD
Susan Krigel, PhD

Susan Krigel, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist with the Midwest Cancer Alliance. Her cancer-related career has spanned 10 years, and began when she worked as a Cancer Information Specialist for the National Cancer Institute. In her role at the Midwest Cancer Alliance, she utilizes her clinical and research skills to create and conduct programs with cancer patients across Kansas and western Missouri, focusing on improving the quality of life during survivorship. Programs are delivered both in person and via telemedicine. She also participates in professional development programs for healthcare providers.

Susan Krigel, PhD, psychologist at Midwest Cancer Alliance, the outreach arm of The University of Kansas Cancer Center, discusses fear of recurrence among cancer survivors.

Susan Krigel, PhD, psychologist at Midwest Cancer Alliance, the outreach arm of The University of Kansas Cancer Center, discusses fear of recurrence among cancer survivors.

Ninety-seven percent of cancer survivors experience fear of recurrence, which can persist for several years. Fear of recurrence typically remains steady at low to moderate levels until a spike is caused by a trigger, such as an upcoming appointment, an anniversary, hearing of another person’s diagnosis, or experiencing a new symptom.

Krigel also says that high levels of fear of recurrence can impair people in different domains of their life, including socially, cognitively, emotionally, and physically.