As a result of the progress in cancer care, more people are surviving cancer than ever before. With two-thirds of Americans now living at least 5 years after a cancer diagnosis, there are now 13.7 million cancer survivors living in the United States, and millions more around the world. By 2022, that number is expected to increase by 35%. Although the growing number of survivors is a welcome sign of progress, this trend also presents a challenge because many of these individuals require significant, ongoing care, such as surveillance for cancer recurrence, screening for new cancers, and care for the long-term effects of their initial treatment.
As time from an initial diagnosis elapses, survivors are more likely to receive care from their primary care practitioners (PCPs), and survivors with several comorbidities receive care from multiple providers, underscoring the need to coordinate care among providers. Because uniform standards for the care of survivors have not been fully established, significant efforts are required to understand the needs of survivors and to develop models of comprehensive, coordinated care that meet those needs.
This unique collaboration among the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American College of Physicians, and the American Society of Clinical Oncology will provide information about survivorship issues that both primary care physicians and oncologists are faced with throughout the cancer care continuum. The Symposium represents an innovative approach to education and patient care.