The diagnosis with cancer affects the patientsâ overall (physical, psychological, social) functioning, having a tremendous impact on their proximal and distal environment (NCCN, 2009). Thus, the correct and timely assessment of cancer-related distress and quality of life becomes imperative, since these factors are significant predictors of mortality and progression of illness, which will further on significantly contribute to the efficient development of further psycho-social interventions. The major aim of the present paper is to locate the major areas of impaired emotional functioning, to investigate the way cancer related distress and well-being varies depending on specific demographic variables in a nationally representative sample of Romanian cancer patients. Our results indicate that a high percentage of the assessed cancer patients experience significant distress (distress, depression, anxiety, anger and need help), with slight gender differences. Moreover, certain groups of cancer patients (female, older patients, those having lower levels of education, single/divorced/widowed) experience significantly higher levels of distress and lower levels of well-being. On the other hand, demographic variables explain to a reduced degree variations in the experienced distress and impaired well-being. Nevertheless, since they still significantly contribute to malfunctioning, should be taken into consideration in the development of efficient psycho-social interventions.
KEYWORDS: cancer, distress, depression, anxiety, well-being, demographic variables