The Importance of Survivorship: Focusing on the Health and Life of a Person with Cancer

July 2018 Vol 9, No 7
Lillie D. Shockney, RN, BS, MAS, ONN-CG
Editor-in-Chief, JONS; Program Director, AONN+; University Distinguished Service Professor of Breast Cancer, Administrative Director, The Johns Hopkins Breast Center; Director, John Hopkins Cancer Survivorship Programs; Professor of Surgery and Oncology, JHU School of Medicine; Co-Creator, Work Stride-Managing Cancer at Work
shockli@jhmi.edu

Dear Navigators, Social Workers, Administrators, and Clinical Staff,

Promoting and enhancing survivorship are cornerstones of our mission as navigators. From community outreach efforts to improving quality of life, from managing efficiency throughout the cancer care continuum to implementing strategies to extend life, navigation efforts are primarily intended to improve the patient experience across the continuum of care, including improving clinical outcomes, increasing survival rates, and preserving quality of life.

By definition, survivorship begins at the moment of diagnosis. In this new era of oncology navigation, patient education, and survivorship care plans, survivors are more empowered than ever before. Survivors have evolved from patients following a course of treatment to well-informed members of the cancer care team who share in treatment-related decision-making. With survival rates improving, cancer survivors certainly require special considerations in maintaining their health. To this end, survivorship care plans are created and provided to patients to assist in their long-term care.

In this issue, you will learn about the Commission on Cancer’s survivorship care plan requirements in an article by Staci Oertle, RN, MSN, APN, AOCNP, entitled Update to CoC Standard 3.3: What Navigators Need to Know, as well as my thoughts on survivorship in the Interview with the Innovators department.

We are also pleased to bring you a chapter from the recently published book Team-Based Oncology Care: The Pivotal Role of Oncology Navigation. The chapter is entitled Transition to Survivorship (page 268) and was authored by our own Pamela Goetz, BA, OPN-CG, and Jennifer R. Klemp, PhD, MPH, MA.

On behalf of all of us at the Academy of Oncology Nurse & Patient Navigators and the Journal of Oncology Navigation & Survivorship, I commend you on your dedication to navigating patients to an empowered survivorship.

Sincerely,

Lillie D. Shockney, RN, BS, MAS, ONN-CG
Editor-in-Chief, JONS; Program Director, AONN+
University Distinguished Professor of Breast Cancer, Adm Director, the Johns Hopkins Breast Center; Director, Johns Hopkins Cancer Survivorship Programs; Professor of Surgery and Oncology, JHU School of Medicine; Co-Creator, Work Stride-Managing Cancer at Work. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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This time of year is one of great excitement for us at JONS and the Academy of Oncology Nurse & Patient Navigators (AONN+).

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Palliative care has a serious identity problem. Seventy percent of Americans describe themselves as “not at all knowledgeable” about palliative care, and most healthcare professionals believe it is synonymous with end-of-life care.1 This perception is not far from current medical practice, because specialty palliative care—administered by clinicians with expertise in palliative medicine—is predominantly offered through hospice care or inpatient consultation only after life-prolonging treatment has failed. This means that the majority of patients who could benefit from palliative care are not receiving it until they are very close to death. To ensure that patients with metastatic breast cancer receive the best cancer care throughout their disease trajectory, palliative care should be initiated alongside standard oncology care, and it should be implemented early.
Recognizing Progress and Encouraging Further Strides in Breast Cancer
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|
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In addition to the obligatory orange and black decorations of October, it’s also the time of year to don your pink in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month! The progress we have made as a nation in elevating the importance of regular breast cancer screenings, funding research, and supporting breast cancer survivors has had a direct impact on our ability to increase and improve survivorship.
Cite this Article
Journal of Oncology Navigation & Survivorship. 2018;10:256.
Last modified: July 30, 2018

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