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New Template for Survivorship Care Plans Released

A new template is now available for healthcare professionals to use when providing a survivorship care plan to cancer patients following their treatment. The template was released today by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and was developed under the leadership of Deborah K. Mayer, PhD, RN, chair of the ASCO Survivorship Care Plan Working Group, professor in the UNC School of Nursing and director of cancer survivorship at UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Thanks to advances in prevention, early detection and treatment of cancer, there are now more than 14.5 million cancer survivors in the United States, up from just 3 million in 1971.

“As progress continues in the fight against cancer, the number of survivors continues to grow, along with the need for programs, resources and planning to help move beyond cancer diagnosis and treatment to wellness,” said Mayer. “At the end of their treatment, patients should expect to receive a survivorship care plan, but if they don’t get one, they should ask their doctor or nurse for one.”

The new template, updating a previous version ASCO developed nearly a decade ago, was published in the Journal of Oncology Practice as part of an ASCO statement on the importance of — and minimum components for — survivorship care plans.

“This cleaner, simpler form will help healthcare professionals get survivorship care plans into the hands of patients and their primary care providers,” said Mayer. In addition to Mayer, members of the ASCO Survivorship Care Plan Working Group include Lawrence N. Shulman, MD, Dana Farber Cancer Institute; Claire Snyder, PhD, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine; and Larissa Nekhlyudov, MD, MPH, Harvard Medical School.

To read more about the new template, see the full story, or read the statement online in the Journal of Oncology Practice (password may be required).