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Issues in Oncology
Survivorship

Cancer Survivors Stand Up, Give Thanks, and Give Back

“I have me back,” is how breast cancer survivor Jeanette Daniel of Memphis described her life after being treated on a clinical trial at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center in Nashville. Being conducted by the Stand Up To Cancer P13K Dream Team, whose leader discovered the PI3K pathway, the trial...

Survivorship

Risk Stratification and Targeted Therapy, Abetted by Collaboration, Improve Outcomes for Children with Cancer

Outcomes for children with cancer have “improved over the course of the years incrementally, mostly not from the development of new drugs, because virtually all the drugs that we use now in leukemia were available in the 1970s. It is really through better understanding of the heterogeneity of the...

Survivorship

Better Information Needed for Primary Care Providers Who Treat Cancer Survivors

Many primary care providers are unaware of the late effects of chemotherapy, according to survey results presented at the ASCO Annual Meeting.1 For three out of four commonly used chemotherapy agents, medical oncologists performed well on the survey, but 29% to 38% of medical oncologists were...

Breast Cancer
Lymphoma
Survivorship

ASCO Studies Point to Risks Associated with Treating Childhood Cancers

Risks associated with being a young cancer survivor were emphasized by two studies highlighted in press briefings at the 2012 ASCO Annual Meeting. Investigators from the Children’s Oncology Group (COG) reported that adolescents and young adults  treated for high-risk B-precursor acute lymphoblastic ...

Lymphoma
Survivorship

Long-term Survivors of Hodgkin Lymphoma May Have Increased Risk of Neurocognitive Impairment

A “new finding” that long-term survivors of childhood Hodgkin lymphoma may be at risk for neurocognitive impairment and central nervous system (CNS) pathology arose from a study among 62 patients treated with either high-dose (≥ 30 Gy) thoracic radiation or lower-dose (< 30 Gy) thoracic...

Survivorship

Prone Position during Radiation Therapy for Breast Cancer Is Associated with Reduced Irradiation to Lung and Heart

Preliminary data on prone positioning during whole-breast radiotherapy following breast-preservation surgery “suggest that radiation exposure to the heart and lung can be reduced compared with supine positioning with similar efficacy,” according to a research letter in the Journal of the American...

Skin Cancer
Survivorship

Radiation to the Skin and Later Risk of Basal Cell Carcinoma Studied

The likelihood of developing basal cell carcinoma was approximately 40 times higher among participants of the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study (CCSS) who received a dose of 35 Gy or more to the skin from radiation therapy than survivors who were not treated with radiation, according to a study...

survivorship

New ASCO Statement Outlines Agenda to Advance Cancer Survivorship Care

In response to the needs of a growing population of cancer survivors, ASCO has released a position statement, recently published online in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. Developed through the work of the ASCO Cancer Survivorship Committee, the statement outlines a comprehensive agenda for...

cost of care
survivorship

Study Finds Young Cancer Survivors Often Skip Checkups

Athough the majority of the more than 69,000 adolescents and young adults (AYAs) diagnosed with cancer each year will survive their disease, many of them will experience interruptions in their education and a derailment in their career tract, curtailing their lifetime earning potential and reducing ...

survivorship

Number of Cancer Survivors Expected to Increase to 18 Million by 2022

The American Association for Cancer Research recently released its second Annual Report on Cancer Survivorship in the United States. The report shows that as of January 2012, there were approximately 13.7 million cancer survivors in the United States, a number that is expected to rise by 31% to 18...

survivorship

Sexual Health after Cancer: Communicating with Your Patients 

Studies show virtually all cancer survivors will experience some form of sexual dysfunction following a cancer diagnosis and treatment. Yet few cancer survivors seek help for physical problems they may be experiencing, such as vaginal dryness, dyspareunia, chemically induced menopause, reduced...

survivorship

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center Survivorship Program to Lead New Study on Cancer In Young Adults

The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center Survivorship Program and its Directors, K. Scott Baker, MD, and Karen Syrjala, PhD, have been selected to lead a nationwide study that aims to improve long-term health outcomes for cancer survivors between the ages of 18 and 39 years. Underway this...

solid tumors
breast cancer
survivorship

Dr. Bernard Fisher's Breast Cancer Research Left a Lasting Legacy of Improved Therapeutic Efficacy and Survival 

Bernard Fisher, MD, is recognized today for his groundbreaking research in breast cancer, which ultimately ended the standard practice of performing the Halsted radical mastectomy, a treatment that had been in place for more than 75 years. His laboratory and clinical investigations led to more...

breast cancer
issues in oncology
survivorship

Breakthroughs in Targeted Therapies for Breast Cancer Are Improving Patient Survival Rates 

For more than 20 years, José Baselga, MD, PhD, has devoted his medical and scientific career to caring for breast cancer patients and the development of novel molecular targeted agents to treat the disease. From 1996 to 2010, he was Head of the Oncology Department of Vall d’Hebron University...

breast cancer
survivorship

Breast Cancer Survivors Not Likely to Maintain Physical Activity Sufficient for Benefits of Exercise

Few breast cancer survivors meet national exercise recommendations during the 10 years after being diagnosed, even though they are among the women who could most benefit from regular physical activity, according to a study by researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Prior studies and...

survivorship

In Chicago for ASCO? 

Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University is celebrating the 20th Annual Cancer Survivors’ Celebration with a first!  Join the Lurie Cancer Center for a timed 5K run along the lakefront on Sunday, June 2. The run will start in Chicago’s Grant Park at 7:15 AM, before the ...

survivorship

Celebrations Nationwide Recognize Cancer Survivorship in June

Among the celebrations held nationwide recognizing survivorship day in June, there was a special program held on June 10, 2013, at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. Mary McCabe, RN, MS, Director, Survivorship Program, at MSKCC, moderated the program. The evening celebration...

survivorship

More Than 98% of Childhood Cancer Survivors Have Chronic Health Conditions 

More than 98% of adult survivors of childhood cancer in a large clinically evaluated cohort had a chronic health condition, including a substantial number of previously undiagnosed problems that are more likely to occur in an older population. “These findings underscore the importance of ongoing...

gynecologic cancers
survivorship

I Overcame Cervical Cancer but Not Its Long-term Effects 

In 1979, when I was just 35 years old, I started experiencing abnormal vaginal bleeding and lower back pain. When a Pap test came back normal, the gynecologist I saw said not to worry about anything, that I was fine. But I wasn’t fine. My symptoms quickly escalated, and I sought the opinion of...

survivorship

Living and Working with Cancer 

The most recent figures from the National Cancer Institute put the number of cancer survivors in the United States at nearly 14 million—by 2022, that number is expected to top 18 million. And for the vast majority of those survivors—more than 80%—returning to work after treatment is a top priority...

lymphoma
survivorship

I'm Not the Person I Was Before Cancer 

I’ve been the caretaker for my husband Will since he suffered three strokes in March 2011, followed by a diagnosis of leukemia a few months later. Now, our roles have reversed, and Will is taking care of me as I go through treatment for stage III follicular non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). It’s been a...

survivorship

Fertility Rates in Childhood Cancer Survivors Suggest Strategies for Follow-up Care 

Childhood cancer survivors with clinical infertility have a good chance of achieving pregnancy, according to new findings from the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study (CCSS). Study Background As a group, women who survive childhood cancer are known to have lower fertility rates. This study, however,...

lymphoma
survivorship

Celebrating 2 Decades as a Cancer Survivor 

This past June, I celebrated 20 years of being a cancer survivor by throwing myself a party. It was an interesting experience because I learned that many of the 100 guests I invited were also cancer survivors or were family members of cancer survivors, and so we celebrated their lives as well. Our...

survivorship

Cancer: Survivors in Focus Photo Exhibit Honors Cancer Survivors 

In June, the David J. Sencer Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Museum in Atlanta, Georgia, opened a new photo exhibit featuring the faces of people living through and beyond a cancer diagnosis. The exhibit: Cancer: Survivors in Focus, tells the stories of cancer survivors while...

Survivorship

Psychosocial Health in Long-Term Survivors of Childhood Cancer 

The study by Lund and colleagues discussed in this issue of The ASCO Post reinforces concerns about psychosocial health in long-term survivors of childhood cancer. Taking advantage of national registries, these investigators demonstrated that, when compared to the general population, survivors are...

survivorship

Study Shows Increased Risk of Mental Disorders in Childhood Cancer Survivors and Potential Increased Risk in Young Siblings  

Survivors of childhood cancer are at risk for long-term adverse physical and mental effects, but little is known about the effects of illness in siblings of these patients. In a study reported in The Lancet Oncology, Lasse Wegener Lund, MD, of the Danish Cancer Society Research Centre and...

Survivorship

Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Cancer Survivors 

Armstrong et al evaluated the prevalence of self-reported hypertension, diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia, and obesity and the incidence of self-reported major cardiac events such as coronary artery disease, heart failure, valvular disease, and arrhythmias in adult survivors of childhood cancer in...

survivorship

Modifiable Risk Factors Potentiate Therapy-Associated Risk for Major Cardiac Events in Adult Survivors of Childhood Cancer 

In a study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Gregory T. Armstrong, MD, of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, and colleagues assessed the frequency of major cardiac events and cardiovascular risk factors among adult survivors of childhood cancer and their siblings.1 They...

cost of care
legislation
survivorship

President-Elect Candidates Address ASCO's Challenges and Opportunities in the Coming Decades 

In September, ASCO announced the names of 14 ASCO members who have been selected by the ASCO Nominating Committee as candidates for open leadership positions within the Society for the 2014 ASCO Election. The two candidates nominated for President-Elect are Lynn M. Schuchter, MD, FASCO, and Julie...

survivorship
supportive care

'Clear and Consistent Protective Effect of Marriage' Found in Patients With 10 Most Clinically Significant Cancers  

A clear and consistent protective effect of marriage among patients harboring one of the 10 most clinically significant malignancies affecting Americans” was found in a study analyzing Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEE) data for 734,889 patients diagnosed with lung, colorectal,...

survivorship
palliative care

Living With Cancer: The Role of Palliative Care in Long-Term Survivorship Care

According to data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program (SEER) and the U.S. Census Bureau registries,1 there are currently about 13.7 million cancer survivors in the United States, and that number is projected to grow to 18 million by 2022. In addition, 64% of this population ...

survivorship

Benefits and Controversies in Survivorship Care Plans

Since the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM’s) 2005 report, From Cancer Patient to Cancer Survivor: Lost in Translation,1 survivorship plans have received growing attention. In short, a survivorship care plan is the record of a patient’s cancer history and recommendations for follow-up care. At ASCO’s...

Issues in Oncology
Survivorship

Oncologists Need to Inform Primary Care Physicians About Late and Long-Term Effects of Chemotherapy

A nationally representative survey of 1,130 oncologists and 1,072 primary care physicians found that primary care physicians had limited awareness of late or long-term effects of chemotherapy agents. This was attributed to primary care physicians not typically encountering chemotherapy agents...

Survivorship

Making Progress in Survivorship Care Planning

The recommendation that a survivorship care plan be provided to patients and their primary care providers was first presented in the 2006 Institute of Medicine (IOM) report, From Cancer Patient to Cancer Survivor: Lost in Transition. The IOM committee proposed that this document include two parts—a ...

survivorship

Improvements Needed in Use of Survivorship Care Plans 

Survivorship care plans, consisting of treatment summaries and follow-up plans, are intended to promote coordination of post-treatment cancer care, but little is known about how survivorship care plans are being used in routine oncology practice. In a study reported in the Journal of the National...

colorectal cancer
gynecologic cancers
issues in oncology
survivorship

Nothing Prepared Me for Cancer

Fourteen years ago, when I was just 29, I was feeling weak and fatigued and had severe pain in my abdomen. I’d had these symptoms for about a year, but none of the several doctors I saw or any of the tests they performed could find the source of my problems. I even had one nurse practitioner tell...

Survivorship
Leukemia
Lymphoma

Long-Term Decline in Neuropsychological Function Seen After Cranial Radiotherapy for Pediatric Lymphoid Malignancy

Central nervous system–directed chemotherapy and cranial radiotherapy for childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia or lymphoma have neurotoxic effects. In a study reported in Journal of Clinical Oncology, Ilse Schuitema, MSc, of Leiden University, and colleagues evaluated white matter changes and...

colorectal cancer
survivorship

Colorectal Cancer Survivors Face Challenges With Bowel Regulation

The fight against colorectal cancer leaves many survivors with battle wounds, according to studies that show a high incidence of assorted morbidities that can affect quality of life. Clinicians, in fact, may be unaware of the struggles with bowel function that occur during survivorship, researchers ...

survivorship
integrative oncology

Survivorship: Living Well During and After Cancer

Barrie Cassileth, PhD, Laurance S. Rockefeller Chair in Integrative Medicine and Chief, Integrative Medicine Service, at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) in New York has published a new book called Survivorship: Living Well During and After Cancer. Dr. Cassileth provides readers with...

survivorship

Ongoing Clinical Trials Actively Recruiting Adolescent and Young Adult Survivors of Childhood Cancer

ADOLESCENT AND YOUNG ADULT CHILDHOOD CANCER SURVIVORS Study Type: Randomized/interventional Study Title: A Randomized Web-Based Physical Activity Intervention in Adolescent Survivors of Childhood Cancer Study Sponsor and Collaborators: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Purpose:...

survivorship

Join the 21st Annual Cancer Survivors’ Celebration Walk & 5K

Nearly 4,000 attendees, including more than 700 cancer survivors along with friends and family members, will gather in Chicago’s Grant Park for the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University’s Annual Cancer Survivors’ Celebration Walk & 5K Run. This year’s event will ...

survivorship

Detecting Accelerated Aging in Adult Survivors of Childhood Cancer

Last fall, Kirsten K. Ness, PhD, published her study1 on the prevalence of frailty as a sign of accelerated aging in adult survivors of childhood cancer, and the results are startling. Among the 1,922 participants in the study, the prevalence of prefrailty was 31.5% among women and 12.9% among men; ...

Survivorship

Identifying One Main Provider and Involving Oncology Specialist Are Key to High-Quality Rating for Follow-up Care

Long-term cancer survivors are more likely to rate their follow-up care as high-quality when one main provider is identified and an oncology specialist is involved, according to results of a population-based cross-sectional study among adult survivors of breast, prostate, colorectal, endometrial,...

survivorship

Elevated Morbidity/Mortality Risks for Childhood Cancer Survivors Further Increase After Fourth Decade

An analysis of the first generation of childhood cancer survivors, who are now aging into their fourth and fifth decades, shows further increases in the survivors’ morbidity and mortality risks. “By age 50 years, more than half of survivors have experienced a severe, disabling, or life-threatening...

survivorship
global cancer care

Improving Quality of Life in Cancer Survivors

The number of cancer survivors has been steadily increasing in recent years. According to the Ministry of Health National Cancer Registry, in 2010 there were 254,000 cancer survivors in Israel (3.3% of the population) compared with 15,700 (0.4% of the population, P < .005) in 1975.1 Forty years...

supportive care
survivorship

Maximizing the Benefits of Exercise in Patients With Cancer

Many nonpharmacologic therapies increase both physical and emotional strength during cancer treatment as well as throughout survivorship. These therapies include the mind-body practices of meditation, self-hypnosis, guided imagery, and breath awareness, touch therapies including massage and...

supportive care
survivorship

ASCO Releases Adapted Guideline on Screening, Assessment, and Management of Fatigue in Adult Survivors of Cancer

A majority of cancer patients experience some level of fatigue during the course of their treatment, and approximately 30% contend with persistent fatigue for years after treatment. Fatigue is among the most common and distressing long-term effects of cancer treatment and significantly affects...

survivorship

Promoting Health Behaviors Among Cancer Survivors

Promoting healthy behaviors among cancer survivors is associated with improved quality of life according to many studies. But how to translate that evidence into community practice remains a huge question, and the need for answers is growing.  It’s not only the lack of consensus on how to help...

breast cancer
colorectal cancer
lung cancer
prostate cancer
skin cancer
leukemia
lymphoma
multiple myeloma
survivorship

NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology: 2014 Updates

At the 19th Annual Conference of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), held recently in Hollywood, Florida, NCCN Panel members presented updates for several tumor types, briefly summarized here. For a more complete description of all updates, visit www.nccn.org. Breast Cancer...

Survivorship
Symptom Management

ASCO Releases Guideline on Prevention and Management of Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy in Survivors of Adult Cancers

ASCO has released a clinical practice guideline on prevention and treatment of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy in adult cancer patients, published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.1 The guidelines resulted from the efforts of an expert panel, with representation from the fields of...

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