New research out of the George Washington University Cancer Institute (GWCI) focuses on the difficulties of transitioning to adulthood while dealing with the long-term and late effects of cancer and its treatment. The study was recently published in the Journal of Oncology Navigation and Survivorship, titled “Improving Cancer Survivorship for Adolescents and Adults.”
Based on information obtained at GWCI’s second Cancer Survivorship Research Symposium, the paper summarizes the discussion amongst cancer survivors, caregivers, researchers, clinicians and other healthcare professionals. The goal of the symposium was to identify key issues for survivors and strategize about optimal interventions for improving care and support.
The authors outlined five key areas of need related to health care delivery system challenges: psychosocial impacts, health maintenance needs, employment issues and community-level barriers. They explored current approaches for addressing these concerns and made recommendations about interventions that may improve survivorship care and quality of life for adolescents and young adults.
“The symposium was a great opportunity for those within the cancer community to conduct high level conversations about the real needs of adolescent and young adult cancer survivors,” said Mandi Pratt-Chapman, M.A., associate director of GWCI Community Programs and author of the study. “Our hope is that we will identify issues and come up with solutions that will address post treatment needs.”
Additional authors include Anne Willis, M.A., director of the division of cancer survivorship; Jennifer Bretsch, M.S., CPHQ, project manager of the division of cancer survivorship; and Steven Patierno, Ph.D., adjunct professor of pharmacology and physiology at the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences.