Survivorship

Published on 04/03/2015 by admin

Filed under Hematology, Oncology and Palliative Medicine

Last modified 04/03/2015

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Chapter 56

Survivorship

Summary of Key Points

• The number of persons in the United States who are living with a cancer history will continue to rise during the next decade, reaching 18 million by the year 2022, and approximately two thirds of cancer survivors will be older than 65 years.

• Cancer survivorship, which is the period between the end of active cancer treatment and a recurrence or death from some other cause, is a distinct phase on the cancer control continuum with its own health care demands.

• The Institute of Medicine has identified four essential components of survivorship care considered to be critical for optimizing health after cancer: (1) detection of recurrent cancers, new cancers, and late effects of cancer and its treatment; (2) intervention for the long-term and late effects of cancer and its treatment; (3) prevention of recurrent and new cancers and other late effects; and (4) coordination between providers to ensure that all survivors’ health needs are met.

• Cancer and its treatment are associated with a variety of long-term adverse effects (e.g., pain, fatigue, sexual dysfunction, and bladder or bowel problems) or late-occurring adverse effects (e.g., recurrence/second malignancies, heart disease, diabetes, or osteoporosis) that can affect all aspects of a survivor’s life: physical, psychological/emotional, social, financial, and existential.

• Most cancer survivors are remarkably resilient and recover well after cancer, but some persons struggle with effects of their cancer and/or treatment.

• Cancer represents a “teachable moment” for many survivors, when clinicians have the opportunity to effectively promote healthy lifestyles and behaviors.

• Planning for posttreatment health and care, including use of treatment summaries and follow-up care plans and communicating these summaries and plans to survivors and their other care providers, is key to coordinated, comprehensive cancer care.

• Screening family caregivers for psychosocial distress and referring them for supportive care as needed can improve survivors’ outcomes.

Self-Assessment Questions

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