European Cancer Organisation
Forgot password

Create account

Timebombs in oncology: Cancer Survivorship

Oncopolicy Forum, Saturday, 26 September 2015, 13:30 – 14:30

– by Professor Peter Naredi, ECCO President-Elect and Session Chair

Breakthroughs in research and state-of-the-art clinical practice have made it possible for cancer to be treated with increasingly improved outcomes.  Studies show that survival time has been rising to reach the 10-year mark for several major cancers since the 1970s. Smaller yet significant improvements are also reported for other selected types of the disease. Today, we can finally speak of effective treatment and life after a cancer diagnosis.

This great achievement comes at a cost. First and foremost, survivors face a range of physical, quality of life and participation issues. For health and social systems, there is the need to adapt so as to ensure the best possible solution that each survivor deserves.

New ways of working are urgently needed when it comes to follow-up care. How do we address survivorship in practice, and is the current organisation of care following treatment up to the task?

Placing a clear priority on multi-disciplinary long-term care may well be the first piece of the puzzle. Yet, long-term care priorities for survivors with a 10-year life expectancy or beyond will inevitably differ from those in a relapse or remission setting. Understanding this variety and being able to identify groups with converging needs is essential to provide the best possible quality care that is also resource-effective.

Beyond follow-up care, the empowerment of former patients towards self-management is a consideration that cannot be missed. Survivors’ buy-in and proactive involvement are set to play a critical role in the innovative working model.

The Oncopolicy Forum ‘Timebombs in oncology: Cancer Survivorship’ Session will delve into data that concretely illustrates the surge in cancer survivorship and how the broad trend can be categorised for tailored care. Examples of good practice in setting up integrated survivorship services will be presented, with a spotlight on the UK National Cancer Survivorship Initiative. The perspectives of survivor advocates will take centre stage to validate approaches to follow-up care. On the policy side, the Chair of the European Parliament interest group on cancer will provide his insights into how European policymaking can support high-quality, resource-efficient care for cancer survivors. The session also brings in the perspectives of health managers as well as psycho-oncologists in what aims to be an exciting and animated discussion on how we, as the oncology community, can work together to address the cancer survivorship timebomb.

Page last modified: