What are the principle concerns of cancer survivor and how are they addressed?

Updated: Feb 28, 2018
  • Author: Winston W Tan, MD, FACP; more...
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Answer

Many cancer survivors have physical/medical, psychological, social, spiritual, financial, and informational needs and concerns. The American Cancer society identified cancer recurrence, financial issues, fatigue, sleep-related problems, and job-related issues as the principal concerns in these patients. [4] Surveys indicate that the current standard of care does not adequately address these issues. 

Recently, much progress has been made toward improving follow-up care. An increasing number of survivorship programs are addressing the needs of cancer survivors, a small but growing body of research is documenting survivorship needs and risks, and resources for providers and survivors are increasingly available.

The Commission on Cancer (CoC) of the American College of Surgeons, which sets standards for cancer care and provides accreditation for institutions that care for the majority of cancer patients, announced a new patient-centered Survivorship Care Planning standard in 2012, and updated it in 2016. [5] The standard encompasses the requirements that cancer programs must meet to earn and maintain CoC accreditation. Initially, this standard was to be phased in by 2015; in 2014, however, the CoC extended the time frame for full implementation to 2019. [6]

In 2014, the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC) issued a set of standards that include breast cancer survivorship care. The standards cover follow-up surveillance, rehabilitation, and health promotion/risk reduction. [7]  The Oncology Nursing Society, which is officially represented in both the CoC and the NAPBC, has developed a report to guide healthcare providers in managing patients throughout cancer survivorship, Red Flags in Caring for Cancer Survivors. [8]


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