Tuesday, June 24, 2014

It’s All About the Guidelines - Cancer Survivorship Research Conference Part 3

One of the most informative plenary sessions was titled Guidelines/ Implementing Survivorship Care.  With the number of cancer survivors estimated to be 14 million  by the ACS the need to have guidelines for implementing survivorship care plans is important. There are four main guidelines each with a different audience.

LiveSTRONG recommends a process for care called Essential Elements which can be used by everyone. http://www.livestrong.org/pdfs/3-0/Essential-Elements-Definitions_Recommendations

NCCN guidelines cover:
Anxiety and Depression
Cognitive Function
 Immunizations and Infections
Sexual Function (female/male)
Sleep Disorders  
This guideline is written for the healthcare professional so a link for patients is unavailable.

ASCO published the first of its Survivorship Guidelines in April of this year. They focus on Anxiety and Depression, Neuropathy, Fatigue and Fertility Preservation and are meant for healthcare providers. They can be found at http://www.asco.org/guidelines/survivorship

The audience for the ACS guidelines is the primary care physician. The first guideline is for prostate cancer can be found at http://www.cancer.org/cancer/news/news/longterm-care-guidelines-for-prostate-cancer-survivors . Additional guidelines will be developed for breast, colon, lung, cervical , ovarian , endometrial , uterine, head and neck and  melanoma.

After learning about these guidelines we heard a discussion of these plans by Julia Rowland, NCI and Doctors Ganz, Wender and Farber. They raised points about the challenges of implementing survivorship plans, the need to train PCPs regarding survivorship issues and the need for evidence based research to show whether or not patients with survivorship plans do in fact have better outcomes.

Every Day is a Blessing!

No comments: