Ongoing care after cancer treatment - Clinical Briefs - Brief Article

Author: Carrie Morantz, Brian Torrey
Date: March 1, 2004

The number of Americans diagnosed with cancer in 2003 was projected to be nearly 1.3 million, and most were expected to survive for at least five years. The five-year survival rate for all patients with cancer is nearly 62 percent; when lung cancer is excluded, the survival rate is 69 percent. Cancer survivors have unique medical needs that require focused attention. Kattlove and Winn reviewed tumor-specific treatment of patients who have survived cancer. "Ongoing Care of Patients After Primary Treatment for Their Cancer" appeared in the May/June 2003 issue of CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.

Most patients will be more likely than average to have recurrence or to develop a second primary cancer. However, depending on the type of cancer, surveillance to detect recurrence may not be beneficial.

The review focuses on survivors of breast cancer; colorectal cancer; prostate cancer; testicular cancer; Hodgkin's disease; leukemia and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma; lung cancer; gynecologic cancer; and bladder and kidney cancer. Included in the review are discussions about surveillance, assessing genetic susceptibility, diagnosing a second primary cancer, monitoring and treating complications, and dealing with altered physiologic and psychosocial status.

The spectrum of medical and psychologic needs of the cancer survivor is diverse and complex. The authors note that optional management can improve both quality of life and, in some cases, survival.

COPYRIGHT 2004 American Academy of Family PhysiciansCOPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group

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