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Lancet Oncol. 2017 Jan;18(1):e11-e18. doi: 10.1016/S1470-2045(16)30573-3.

Defining cancer survivors, their needs, and perspectives on survivorship health care in the USA.

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University of North Carolina School of Nursing, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA; University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA. Electronic address:
National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship, Silver Spring, MD, USA.
University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA.


More people are living after a diagnosis of cancer than ever before and now account for around 5% of the US population. The specialty of cancer survivorship has been developing and growing since the mid-1980s, but the term survivor is open to debate by people living with cancer and those caring for them. Regardless of the term used, many ongoing physical, psychological, and social needs affect quality of life for people who are living with cancer and those who have survived the disease. Survivors prefer to have these needs addressed by their oncologist but also want their primary care provider to have a role. However, survivors also believe there are communication and coordination barriers between care providers. The existing method for delivering cancer care is becoming unsustainable and is not adequately configured to deliver high-quality cancer care to this growing population in the USA, especially when confronted with projected health-care shortages by 2020. In this Series paper, we define the term cancer survivor, discuss survivors' ongoing needs and preferences for care over time, and consider the implications for delivering coordinated cancer care in the USA.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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