We are celebrating the nation’s 14 million cancer survivors by announcing our plans to further advance the rights of cancer patients and survivors through an innovative care plan study. We project this study could revolutionize the field of cancer survivorship and impact up to 70 percent of people living with cancer in the United States.
In partnership with the Commission on Cancer, the Roswell Park Cancer Institute and the University of Pennsylvania’s Abramson Cancer Center, the Foundation is investing nearly $1 million over the next two years to evaluate the feasibility of implementing automated care plans with clinicians, patients and survivors of prostate, colorectal and breast cancer. The study is empowering cancer survivors and caregivers with affordable access to tools and programs that use data to improve their care.
After treatment, many survivors still experience emotional, practical and physical concerns, but do not always receive the help they need to address these issues. Care plans are a valuable resource because they provide survivors with information about their past treatment and recommendations for long-term care in one concise format for their own use and that can be shared with their health care providers. This study is the first-of-its kind, and will lead to a better understanding of how we can provide the majority of survivors an evidence-based road map of their follow-up appointments, treatment side effects, late effects and other key guideposts to help improve their survival rates.
While the Institute of Medicine, the Commission on Cancer and the LIVESTRONG Foundation, among others, have identified these plans as a critical component of improving long-term outcomes, the study showed that only 51 percent of responding survivors received treatment summaries, and even more alarmingly, only 17 percent reported receiving survivorship care plans.
For more information about care plans and to download your own, visit livestrongcareplan.org.