Yoga, an ancient tradition that originated approximately 5,000 years ago in Central Asia, is a complete system of mental and physical practices for health and well-being. Predominantly practiced within the philosophical context of Ayurvedic medicine in India, yoga as a mind-body therapy is now also increasingly popular in the West, practiced by approximately 15 million individuals.
It is my pleasure to start 2011 by adding a new professional responsibility to my résumé, that of Editor-in-Chief of ONCOLOGY Nurse Edition. Although ONCOLOGY Nurse Edition is a relatively new publication, now entering its fifth year, the journal boasts a readership of 15,000 oncology nurses nationwide.
While more than 12 million people in the US are cancer survivors, an online survey conducted by the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) has found that only about one-quarter of oncology nurses surveyed had a formal survivorship program in place at their institutions.
The number of cancer patients and cancer survivors continues to increase rapidly amid predictions of a shortfall in physicians to care for them. In addition, newer cancer therapies have become increasingly complex and resource-intensive, compounding the impending workforce shortage. Simultaneously, the growing understanding of the biologic heterogeneity of cancer and the development of pharmacogenomics have opened up the possibility of personalized approaches to cancer diagnosis and treatment. Such personalization has been promulgated as a means of decreasing the cost of drug development, improving the efficacy of treatments, and reducing treatment toxicity. Although there have been notable successes, the fulfillment of these promises has been inconsistent. Providing care for future cancer patients will require the development of innovative delivery models. Moreover, new approaches to clinical research design, to the assessment of therapeutic value, and to the approval of and reimbursement for diagnostics and treatments are needed.
This timely manuscript by Bunnell and Shulman highlights critical issues that challenge our ability to provide care to cancer patients in the next 20 years. Each of the concerns the authors identify has a momentum of its own. In combination, they have the makings of a perfect health care storm. The time to further address these matters is now.
Cancer care experts describe the building blocks for creating a survivorship program.
Radiation doses to the heart of about 5 Gy or greater in childhood are associated with long-term cardiovascular consequences, including early mortality. Cancer care specialists strive to balance late-stage effects without sacrificing treatment benefits.
Current advances in the field of medicine have aided in the early detection and treatment of cancer, leading to an increased rate of survivorship among cancer patients after an initial diagnosis.
The 5-year survival rate of cancer patients in the United States is about 66%, and today there are approximately 12 million cancer survivors in the US.
Looking to expand the reach of its care beyond the hospital’s walls and hours of operation, Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) has launched a new online community for people affected by cancer.