Survival odds for cancer 3 times better but after-care pretty scant

Modern day advances in surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation treatment have meant that now, more than three times as many cancer victims survive the disease than three decades ago.

However according to a new report by the Institute of Medicine, many Americans who survive cancer treatment find themselves with no organized system for maintaining their physical and mental health in the long term.

Cancer survivors now number approximately 10 million in the U.S.and it appears in fact that most are receiving very little instructions after the initial treatment.

Although the report praised advances in drug development and other cancer care, which has dramatically increased the chances of survival for patients with many forms of cancer, it also warned that cancer survivors usually end their treatment with no plan from doctors on how to monitor disease recurrence or other consequences of malignancy.

The report also refers to the wide range of methods used by physicians to monitor and care for cancer patients once they finish treatment, and has called for medical societies to adopt more universal, systematic guidelines to help standardise the procedures.

In some ways the lack of organized care for cancer survivors is a symptom of the vast improvements in cancer care, as many diseases that were once quick killers, including breast and testicular cancer, are now very often curable.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News-Medical.Net.
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