Cancer survivorship is an up-and-coming component of cancer
care that many institutions are trying to programmatically develop and navigate
as the number of survivors continues to increase.
According to the American Cancer Society, there are now more
than 14.5 million cancer survivors in the United States and that number is
expected to grow to nearly 18 million by 2022.
Additionally, by 2015, all Commission on Cancer-accredited
institutions will need to have a process in place for the development and delivery
of survivorship care plans.
With this in mind, leadership within the UC Cancer
Institute’s Survivorship Program has taken a number of steps to meet these
criteria and to create the best experience for cancer survivors beginning at
the time of diagnosis.
"Survivorship is a necessary component of care as rates of
survival continue to climb. It begins after diagnosis and continues throughout
a patient’s lifespan,” says Beverly Reigle, PhD, director of the program and
associate professor in UC’s College of Nursing.
"The survivorship program focuses on educating the health
care providers, patients and caregivers, and broader community about the short
and long-term effects of treatment, evidence-based interventions to address
these effects, surveillance and prevention strategies and cancer rehabilitation
approaches with the overall goal of patients living a fulfilling life.”
As an initial step, UC has formed a consortium with Indiana
University and Ohio State University to improve survivorship education for
health care professionals and promote survivorship research in this area of the
The collaboration, named the Midwest Consortium for Cancer
Survivorship Education and Research, or SEdR (see-der), will combine the
strengths of the institutions to develop a survivorship education program for
advance practice providers, nurses and eventually physicians. The partnership
will also involve collaborations on research projects as well as development of
best practices for cancer survivorship care delivery.
"This consortium will help us come together to design a
curriculum, helping us educate on the meaning of cancer survivorship and
strategies for program implementation,” Reigle says. "It’s not only about
follow-up for surveillance of cancer, but includes surveillance beginning at
diagnosis, prevention and management of treatment-related effects, health
promotion and comfort measures.”
SEdR will hold its first educational program for advanced
practice providers Nov. 14-15 on UC’s medical campus.
In addition, Reigle is beginning to introduce survivorship
models within each of the cancer centers’ clinics and is recommending that
leadership appoint an advanced practice provider to oversee cancer survivorship
plans for patients. She’s also working to find out ways to have these plans
documented within EPIC.
"Collaborating oncologists on the team will provide the
guidance and oversight with the provider to decide how the follow-up visits
will proceed,” she says. "We are beginning to pilot the first survivorship
program within the Hematological Malignancies group in patients diagnosed with
The survivorship team is also planning a conference,
"Transforming Cancer Survivorship Through Research and Best Practice,” being
held March 27, 2015, to explore the Commission on Cancer’s national standards
for survivorship care plans, discuss treatment-related effects and
research-based strategies and stress multispecialty collaboration for best
"We’re very excited to be hosting this event which will
feature many national experts in the field of survivorship,” Reigle says,
adding that Julia Rowland, PhD, director of the National Cancer Institute’s
Office of Cancer Survivorship, will be the keynote speaker. "This will be one
of the ways to show our dedication to cancer survivorship and will help us form
relationships and collaborate with other influential partners from across the
"All of these efforts will help grow this very
necessary program, which is not just about treatment strategies or services.
It’s all-encompassing and assesses all aspects of a patient’s needs for the
best experiences and outcomes.”
>>For more information on the upcoming conference, visit http://uchealth.com/events/transforming-cancer-survivorship-through-research-and-best-practice/.