Cancer Control Research1R13CA150299-01A1
Robien, Kimberly Z.
BRIDGING THE TRANSITION TO LIFE AFTER CANCER TREATMENT
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Building on the 2006 Institute of Medicine (IOM) report, "From Cancer Patient to Cancer Survivor: Lost in Translation", the Minnesota Cancer Alliance (www.mncanceralliance.org) and the Masonic Cancer Center at the University of Minnesota (www.cancer.umn.edu) are proposing an educational conference for health care professionals on helping their cancer patients successfully navigate the transition from cancer treatment to life after treatment. The National Cancer Institute's Office of Cancer Survivorship Research states that "an individual is considered a cancer survivor from the time of diagnosis, through the balance of his or her life". It has been estimated that as of January 2006, 11.4 million Americans (3.8% of the population) met the definition of a cancer survivor, and with advances in early detection and treatment cancers, the number of cancer survivors is expected to grow. The projected shortage of oncologists in the coming years combined with an aging population has led many in the cancer survivorship community to consider alternatives to oncologist-led care for the growing numbers of cancer survivors, including "shared-care" where a patient is managed by two or more medical specialties, nurse-led models of survivorship care, and specialized survivorship clinics providing multidisciplinary care in one setting. In addition, other health care professionals, including nurses, physical therapists, social workers, and dietitians, are beginning to define their role in the cancer survivorship care team. With the proposed 2-day conference, we plan to bring oncologists, primary care and family practice physicians, nurses and allied health professionals together to learn about the needs of patients transitioning from active cancer treatment to life beyond cancer, and the resources available to meet those needs. We are also especially interested in encouraging women, racial and ethnic minorities, people with disabilities, and teams of health care professionals from medically underserved areas and populations to attend the conference. We anticipate being able to offer a number of registration waivers for minority health care providers, those who provide health care to minorities, or those who practice in Health Professional Shortage Areas. Priority and registration discounts will be offered for multidisciplinary groups of 4 or more professionals (preferably including at least one MD and one RN) from the same institution or community to encourage the formation and implementation of a team approach to providing survivorship care services following the conference. Methods for improving communication between health care professionals will be discussed in educational and networking sessions, and a team approach will be encouraged in order to meet the individual needs of cancer survivors in a realistic, time- and resource-effective manner. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: This educational conference for health care professionals will directly address the mission of NCI's Office of Cancer Survivorship by helping to enhance the quality and length of survival of people with cancer. The proposed conference also addresses one of the recommendations in the Center for Disease Control's National Action Plan for Cancer Survivorship to "educate health care providers about cancer survivorship from diagnosis through long-term treatment and end-of life care".