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Cancer Communication Research Center
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Given my growing interest in long-term cancer survivors, I was excited to see the announcement for the 2012 Biennial Cancer Survivorship Research Conference "Cancer Survivorship Research: Translating Science to Care". The large number of cancer survivors in the U.S. (approximately 11.7 million) is reflective of the strides that have been made in the "war against cancer," due to factors such as early detection and effective treatment. In one sense, effective treatment of cancer marks an endpoint, but in another it represents a new beginning for survivors. We are now faced with the challenge of meeting the unique needs of cancer survivors. Cancer survivors have ongoing needs due to the long-term physical and psychological effects of cancer diagnosis and treatment, as well as other issues related to successful reintegration into society (e.g., workplace discrimination).

I am currently involved in a project exploring the promotion of lifestyle behavior change (e.g., dietary changes) in the care of cancer survivors. Although we are still in the early stages of the project, it is already evident that there is a lack of clarity regarding who is "responsible" for cancer survivors once they have completed active treatment. As Richard Wood discusses in his Nov. 23 blog, mandated cancer survivorship care plans will play an essential role in ensuring coordination of survivor care. I believe that the research discussed during the Cancer Survivorship Research Conference will inform efforts to develop cancer survivorship care plans that best address the needs of cancer survivors. I look forward to attending this conference to learn about both the scientific and programmatic work being conducted to enhance the care of cancer survivors.

Kisha Coa
2011 CCRC Doctoral Fellow
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Written by CCRC at 12:56

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