To assess the long-term consequences of cancer for everyday life, a postal survey in the Netherlands was done among 849 ex-cancer patients. Almost all responders were self-supporting to a large extent. Compared with the period before diagnosis, the socioeconomic position had not changed in 62%. 28% of the responders who were employed at the time of diagnosis (10% of all responders), were now housekeepers (99% female). Absence from work at survey did not differ significantly from absence in the year before diagnosis. A history of cancer tended to have a negative impact on promotional prospects and income. Ex-cancer patients were often confronted with problems when they tried to take out insurance or to modify an existing policy. The psychological well-being of the responders was low, compared to the average Dutch population.