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Who Are Informal Cancer Caregivers? 

Who Are Informal Cancer Caregivers?
Chapter:
Who Are Informal Cancer Caregivers?
Source:
Cancer Caregivers
Author(s):

Erin E. Kent

, Margaret L. Longacre

, Wen-Ying Sylvia Chou

, and Michelle A. Mollica

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780190868567.003.0001

Informal cancer caregivers are family members, partners, or friends who provide care that is typically uncompensated, at home, and often intensive for individuals with cancer. Estimates vary, but approximately 2 to 6 million American adults are currently serving as a caregiver for an adult with cancer. Most adult cancer caregivers are female, and the median age of caregivers is 52. The growth in prevalence of cancer and move to more outpatient care has placed an increasing burden on informal caregivers. This chapter reviews the prevalence, characteristics, tasks, and impact of caregiving on both caregivers and patients, with implications and future directions for research, practice, and policy.

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