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"Early detection, better diagnostic tools, and more effective treatments are resulting in long-term cancer survivorship, with 62% of adults and 77% of pediatric cancer patients now living more than 5 years beyond their initial diagnosis.
While survival rates are rising…according to the National Cancer Institute there are nearly 12 million cancer survivors in the United States. The hurdle now facing many cancer survivors is how to achieve long-term quality of life after treatment has ended. According to the National Action Plan for Cancer Survivorship, fully one-third of survivors say they experience ongoing physical, psychological, or financial consequences of their cancer diagnosis and treatment.
Recognizing the need for a comprehensive approach to long-term survivorship care, many academic medical centers, community hospitals and oncologists in private practices are developing survivorship care programs to manage the ongoing care of their patients. In planning survivorship services, however, we need to delineate survivorship from other periods of care, so we take a pragmatic approach and define survivorship as the period in which patients treated with curative intent have completed their initial therapy and require follow-up care.”