Survivorship in the spotlight

This was a big week for the rapidly advancing field of cancer survivorship science.

Work I did with colleagues at Washington University in St Louis was released ahead of print in the journal Cancer Causes and Control. Eight ways to stay healthy after cancer is a patient-focused set of messages, with an accompanying brochure, on staying healthy after a cancer diagnosis.  Focused on choices patients can make it includes, avoiding tobacco smoke (including secondhand), maintaining a healthy weight, being physically active, a healthy diet, alcohol in moderation (if at all), social support and regular health check-ups.

Also out this week are the NCCN practice guidelines for survivorship.  More focused on what health care providers need to know after treatment ends, though acknowledging the role that family members and caregivers play, the NCCN guidelines center on eight areas as well: anxiety and depression, sleep disorders, cognitive function, fatigue, exercise, pain, sexual function, and  immunizations and immune function.

Both guidelines acknowledge that dissemination to stakeholders and implementation into routine care remain significant challenges.