ASCO Issues Recommendations to Improve Cancer Survivor Care

Statement recommends policies, education, and clinical guideline to improve long-term follow-up

THURSDAY, Jan. 10 (HealthDay News) -- The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) has presented recommendations for promoting high-quality cancer survivorship care in a report published online Jan. 7 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Mary S. McCabe, R.N., of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, and colleagues worked with various groups within and outside of ASCO to develop a comprehensive agenda for improving the health care of cancer survivors.

The authors note that, after treatment for adult-onset cancers, survivorship care often focuses on surveillance for recurrence and does not address health promotion, primary or secondary cancer prevention, or symptom management of long-term and late treatment effects. Key initiatives for promoting the health care of survivors include developing evidence-based guidelines for improving care and establishing proven models of survivorship care, including academic models, shared-care models, and the use of treatment summaries and care plans. In addition, the quality of survivorship care must be monitored. Expanding and coordinating education is encouraged for medical professionals and for survivors and their families. To guide effective survivorship care, research should be increased and policy changes should be advocated.

"Collectively, these initiatives aim to assure the delivery of comprehensive, coordinated post-treatment care to all cancer survivors and provide the oncology community with access to adequate tools, resources, and knowledge to implement this survivor care as well as with appropriate reimbursement to cover all aspects of survivorship care, including screening, prevention, and care coordination," the authors write.

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