Cancer as a chronic disease
Background: Over the past two decades the number of people living with cancer has increased. Many cancer survivors end up with long term disabilities requiring ongoing care and support. For many people, cancer survival now means living with a chronic and complex condition.
Aim: The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of the long term management issues for cancer survivors and strategies to enhance their care.
Discussion: Cancer survivors require ongoing support in four key areas: prevention; surveillance; intervention for consequences of cancer and its treatment; and coordination between specialist and generalist providers.
Conclusion: Cancer survivors experience significant physical and psychological morbidity which makes minimising their burden of disability and distress an important priority. Survivors require ongoing care that is well co-ordinated, focuses on prevention, provides going surveillance whilst minimising and managing the long term effects of treatment and other co-morbidities.
Phillips, J. L., & Currow, D. C. (2010). Cancer as a chronic disease. Collegian, 17(2), 47-50. doi:10.1016/j.colegn.2010.04.007