While treatment for cancer may only last 6-12 months, the impact of having cancer can last a lifetime. Some impacts we see immediately, and others won’t arise for many years. In effect, cancer has become a chronic condition for most. As cancer survival rates increase, so does awareness of the need to care for the over 15 million cancer survivors that currently live in the United States. Programs exist throughout the country, primarily based in medical centers and oncology units. As we learn more about the physical, emotional and psycho-social costs of survivorship, it is clear that we need to shift how we think about survivorship care from a reactive to a proactive model of care.
We have come a long way, but there is a lot of work to do……..
Imagine a world in which the primary care medical community felt equipped and empowered to more effectively treat their patients with a history of cancer within true shared care model with specialists. Imagine a world in which patient care was truly comprehensive and coordinated between disciplines. Imagine a world in which cancer survivorship care was an integral part of medical practice - building bridges and knowledge and impacting the quality of life of patients, caregivers AND the medical community.
Together, we can help make this a reality.