From Cancer Patient to Cancer Survivor…Lost in Transition

In 2005, The Institute of Medicine issued a report, “From Cancer Patient to Cancer Survivor…Lost in Transition”, that urged medical providers of cancer care to create a “Survivorship Care Plan” (SCP) for every cancer survivor after treatment ended, to ensure that her surveillance, prevention, intervention and coordination of care were customized to the most advanced recommendations possible to improve and protect her health.

In 2007, research findings from Back in the Swing focus groups mirrored the conclusions of this report: “A transition exists between being a cancer patient and a cancer survivor, and medical guidance and clinical care during this transition and beyond are necessary for ensuring the lifelong health and wellbeing of survivors.”

The Back in the Swing research concluded that both respondents who had finished treatment in the past 1 or 2 years, as well as those who were 3 or more years away from finishing active treatment, reported experiencing this transition period, and admitted feeling unprepared by their physicians for the early and late effects of treatment.

That’s why the medical community has begun to provide each survivor with a Survivorship Care Plan, and survivorship support among the standards of care for hospital cancer programs to receive accreditation by the American College of Surgeons that began in January of 2015.