For Cancer Survivors, 2014 Will Be the Year to Plan

The coming year will be one for those who have beaten cancer to develop survivorship plans, with the Commission on Cancer to require planning by treatment centers starting in 2015.


For Cancer Survivors, 2014 Will Be the Year to Plan

PLAINSBORO, N.J. — For those who have beaten cancer, 2014 will be the year to develop a survivorship plan, if patients have not done so already. As the ranks of cancer survivors grow, the Commission on Cancer has let treatment centers know that it will require survivorship planning in its certification requirements starting in 2015.

Evidence-Based Oncology, a news publication of The American Journal of Managed Care, explored the emerging issue of survivorship planning, which will be a higher priority as the nation moves from a fee-for-service reimbursement structure to an accountable care scheme. For the first time, those who treat patients with cancer will face being evaluated — and paid – based on how well they address survivorship. For the story, click here.

“Healthcare is the last industry without metrics to determine what is good care and not such good care,” said Bo Gamble, director of Strategic Practice Initiatives for the Community Oncology Alliance, which represents oncology practices outside of hospital settings.

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) adopted its first survivorship guidelines in May 2013, to give physicians a road map for handling anxiety, depression, cognitive function, exercise, fatigue, immunizations and infections, pain, sleep disorders and sexual function for patients with common diseases. Guidelines address survivors of breast cancer, chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), colon cancer, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, melanoma, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, prostate cancer and non-small cell lung cancer.

Numbers drive the quest for better survivorship care. A 2012 report from the American Cancer Society estimated that 13.7 million Americans were alive on January 1, 2012, and nearly 18 million will be alive on January 1, 2022. Among men, prostate cancer is the most common diagnosis; for women, breast cancer is the most common disease. The LIVESTRONG Foundation has an online guide for developing a survivorship plan, at

CONTACT: Mary Caffrey (609) 716-7777 x 144