Interest in Cancer Survivorship is Growing Around the World
Growing interest in cancer survivorship has been noted in the United Kingdom, in the medical community, the US business community and in Canada where several initiatives have been started.
1. In the United Kingdom, the national healthcare system created the National Cancer Survivorship Initiative (NCSI) to ensure that “those living with and beyond cancer receive the care and support they need to lead a healthy and active life as much as possible, for as long as possible.” NCSI addresses ‘unmet needs’ of cancer survivors including medical, psychological, social, spiritual, and informational needs.
2. In October, the Journal of Clinical Oncology dedicated an entire special edition to cancer survivorship, including an article entitled, “Lifestyle Factors in Cancer Survivorship.”
3. The business community is starting to understand the importance of expanding options and choices for cancer patients. On August 27, 2012, The Wall Street Journal published an article entitled ‘To Treat the Cancer, Treat the Distress.’ One statement read, “There is a new national push to screen and treat cancer patients for distress – emotional and psychological trauma that interferes with the ability to cope with cancer treatment, but is often overlooked by doctors.” The article goes on to state “Pressure to improve supportive care for cancer patients has been mounting since 2007, when the Institute of Medicine, which advises the federal government on health-care issues, warned in a report that cancer care often fails to address patients’ psychological and social problems.”
4. In October, InspireHealth submitted an Expression of Interest for Prostate Cancer Canada’s “A Survivorship Action Partnership (ASAP)”. Their mandate is to bring together experts to develop and implement solutions in key survivorship areas to help improve the lives of prostate cancer survivors, their partners, caregivers and family members.
From Survivorship to Thrivership
In addition to the accepted term survivorship, we at InspireHealth have added to our vocabulary the more optimistic term, thrivership, recognizing that patients with a cancer diagnosis want to not only survive, but thrive. Our programs inform, support and encourage healthy lifestyle changes that aim to enhance quality of life, reduce the risk of cancer recurrence and improve survival. InspireHealth believes that the greatest opportunity for patients to achieve positive results is integrating lifestyle support at the time of diagnosis rather than after conventional treatment has ended. InspireHealth’s integrative approach honours the value of standard cancer treatment while recognizing the importance of individual choices that support health at the level of mind, body and spirit.