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The demands of cancer survivorship: the who, what, when, where, why, and how


 

With an exponential increase in the number of cancer survivors over the past few decades, we have an opportunity and responsibility to effectively manage cancer survivors across the continuum of cancer care. The delivery of survivorship care requires realistic deliverables with defined outcomes that focus on cost, impact on disease management and prevention, and integration within a health care delivery model. Building a framework using defined time-points and definitions can be helpful. Due to the complex nature of delivering cancer survivorship care, it is necessary to establish collaborations with specialty providers including cardiologists, reproductive specialists, endocrinology, ophthalmology, allied health professionals and cancer rehab, to name a few. Strengthening relationships with primary care providers will enhance the transition from cancer care to primary care. Essential tools to help fulfill these goals and achieve national standards include using expert recommended treatment summaries and survivorship care plans. These tools support a shared care model with the goal of high quality, coordinated healthcare for the survivorship population. With limited evidence to guide the delivery of survivorship care and national standards looming, how do we meet the demands of cancer survivorship? This article explores the “the who, what, when, where, why and how?” of cancer survivorship care.

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How to begin a survivorship program in your community oncology practice

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