Cancer Survivorship Plans: A Paradigm Shift in the Delivery of Quality Cancer Care
With the release in November 2005 of the Institute of Medicine Report, From Cancer Patient to Cancer Survivor: Lost in Transition , public attention was drawn to the unique, complex, and largely unmet healthcare needs of the growing population of individuals who were making, or had already made, the transition from active patient to posttreatment recovery and beyond. For many of us, this event, accompanied as these reports usually are with formal briefings and considerable media flurry, was seen as an important turning point. Just as the founding members of the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship (NCCS) gave us new language for what it meant to be a “survivor” (http://www.canceradvocacy.org/resources/glossary.html#C), the Lost in Transition report firmly established a distinct place on the continuum of cancer care for research and practice addressing “survivorship.” Dispensing with the outdated medical definition of a survivor that required someone to remain disease-free for a minimum of 5 years after treatment to earn this status, coalition members argued convincingly in 1986 that a person could call him- or herself a survivor from the moment of diagnosis and for the remainder of life. This, they successfully argued, was the only way to ensure that the focus of care, and cancer-related decisions, would be on achieving a full and meaningful future life, worth living, for the individual. That definition revolutionized cancer care. In a similar way, 25 years later, the Lost in Transition report has given us the next paradigm shift.
KeywordsCancer Survivor Childhood Cancer Survivor Survivorship Care Plan Treatment Summary Transition Report
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