As Cancer Survival Rates Grow, So Too Does Need for Survivorship Care

June 23, 2011


WHYY Radio explores the growing trend toward survivorship care for the nation's 12 million cancer survivors -- a population that has quadrupled in size over the last 40 years due to improved treatments for the disease. Joseph Carver, MD, chief of staff in the Abramson Cancer Center, is quoted in the story discussing the challenges the cancer survivors face when they're released from active treatment. Carver treats patients who develop heart problems decades after they have been treated for cancer. He said most people who got cancer-fighting drugs 30 years ago cannot name those drugs, let alone the risk of side effects that go along with them. "Most people know sort of what cancer they had, but if you ask what drugs they got for chemotherapy, most people have no idea," he said. "So it begins a process of being a giant detective to try to find what they had." Penn is among just a handful of hospitals around the country with a LIVESTRONG Survivorship Center of Excellence, which helps patients and their primary care physicians understand what treatments they had and what issues need to be monitored as they begin their lives as survivors, "to develop a long-term care plan that says, we know that if you got 'X,' then down the line you might develop this organ problem," he said. Read More

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