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Cancer Survivorship Conference Highlights Changes in Survivor Care and Service Delivery
Jun 16, 2016
Conference Sponsored by Leading Coalition of Cancer and Health Organizations

ATLANTA (June 16, 2016) – More than 450 cancer experts are gathering in Washington, DC, this week to address current and emerging cancer survivorship care, including how key trends are shaping healthcare delivery and outcomes for survivors.  The 8th Biennial Cancer Survivorship Research Conference, “Innovation in a Rapidly Changing Landscape,” is being held June 16-18 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel, and takes on increased importance as the American Cancer Society – in collaboration with the National Cancer Institute – recently reported in the Cancer Treatment & Survivorship Facts & Figures, 2016-2017 that the number of cancer survivors in the United States will increase from the currently estimated 15.5 million to more than 20 million by 2026.

Since 2002, the Biennial Cancer Survivorship Research Conference has brought together investigators, clinicians, advocates, cancer survivors, program planners, policy-makers, and public health experts to highlight cancer survivorship research and to advance progress in survivorship care.  The meeting is jointly sponsored by the American Cancer Society’s Behavioral Research Center, the National Cancer Institute’s Office of Cancer Survivorship, LIVESTRONG, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

This year’s theme highlights ways in which recent key trends are shaping care and outcomes for cancer survivors.  The shifting demography of cancer survivors, the reconfiguration of healthcare management, and the rapid pace of development of new electronic and e-health technologies present both opportunities and challenges to meeting the continuing and emerging needs of survivors. The conference will explore recent changes in these areas, as well as their implications for survivors and for the field of cancer survivorship research.  Speakers, including world-renowned experts, will present findings on their survivorship research and explore models to improve post-treatment survivorship care and support communication and coordination between survivors, health care providers, and caregivers.

Attendees will learn about new and innovative research within the survivorship field to identify and address areas of need. The conference theme will stimulate ideas for new and creative ways to move the science forward and improve service delivery, health-related outcomes, quality of life, and well-being for all cancer survivors.

The opening plenary session, “Innovation in a Rapidly Changing Landscape,” will highlight the impact of changes in three broad areas across the larger landscape that will affect cancer survivorship research and care into the future. Specifically, the session addresses changes in the composition of the population of survivors to include more survivors who are older and of more diverse backgrounds. It will address alterations in the structure of the healthcare delivery and payment system, which will affect who gets what type of care, where, and by whom, and who will pay for that care. Finally, the session treats the rapid emergence of novel eHealth and mHealth platforms and the potential for these technologies to expand our capacity to reach, communicate with, and track survivors and their families, as well as link them to learning healthcare systems and diverse providers. 

Another session, “Who Needs Specialized vs. Community Programs & Other Lessons Learned from Disseminating Lifestyle Interventions,” will explore projects that were designed to take evidence-based lifestyle interventions conducted in controlled clinical settings and implement them in real-world community-based settings. Three projects will be discussed, highlighting the successes and challenges the investigators experienced, the innovative solutions they identified, and how the lessons learned can be leveraged to create innovative, feasible, safe, and effective programs. The talk also will highlight data suggesting the need for supervised, specialized interventions for those cancer survivors who have physical impairments that limit their ability to participate in general lifestyle programs. 

A third session, “Cancer Caregiving: Challenges and Solutions for the Changing Landscape,” will assess the state of informal/family cancer caregiving research in cancer survivorship in the context of a rapidly changing healthcare delivery system and in the context of changing survivor demographics.

An additional plenary session, “Leveraging Measurement and Technological Advances in Older Cancer Survivors,” addresses two broad areas of the conference theme: demographics and eHealth/technology. The discussion includes the demography of aging in the U.S. by highlighting the shift to a homogenous older population with higher education and with different trajectories of disability. Co-morbidities and the trajectory of co-morbidities over time will be featured. In addition, speakers will address resiliency and aging by answering the question, “What do older survivors teach us about who does well?” They will explore how outcomes are measured, discuss outcomes of interest, and describe tools needed to measure these outcomes in an older cancer survivor population. Finally, they will explore the use of new technologies to improve the health and healthcare of older survivors and their caregivers.

This year’s biennial conference again includes the Survivor Advocate Program, which provides travel scholarships for 15 advocates to attend and participate in the conference, to learn first-hand about key research in cancer survivorship and to interact with other advocate leaders and survivorship researchers. Program participants were selected on the basis of their research advocacy experience, the potential impact conference attendance would have on their future advocacy work, and the strength of their proposed use of tools from the conference for community education.

For more information about the 8th Biennial Cancer Survivorship Research Conference, including a schedule of sessions, please go to http://www.cancer.org/subsites/survivorship2016/survivorship-2016

About the American Cancer Society

The American Cancer Society is a global grassroots force of 2.5 million volunteers saving lives and fighting for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community. As the largest voluntary health organization, the Society's efforts have contributed to a 22 percent decline in cancer death rates in the U.S. since 1991, and a 50 percent drop in smoking rates. Thanks in part to our progress,14.5 million Americans who have had cancer and countless more who have avoided it will celebrate more birthdays this year. We're determined to finish the fight against cancer. We're finding cures as the nation’s largest private, not-for-profit investor in cancer research, ensuring people facing cancer have the help they need and continuing the fight for access to quality health care, lifesaving screenings, clean air, and more. For more information, to get help, or to join the fight, call us anytime, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345 or visit cancer.org.

About the National Cancer Institute

The National Cancer Institute leads the National Cancer Program and the National Institutes of Health’s efforts to dramatically reduce the prevalence of cancer and improve the lives of cancer patients and their families, through research into prevention and cancer biology, the development of new interventions, and the training and mentoring of new researchers. For more information about cancer, please visit the NCI Web site at http://www.cancer.gov or call NCI's Cancer Information Service at 1-800-4-CANCER.

About the LIVESTRONG Foundation

The LIVESTRONG Foundation fights to improve the lives of people affected by cancer now. For 19 years, LIVESTRONG has been a voice for cancer survivors and has directly served more than 3.5 million people. A pioneer in the field of survivorship, LIVESTRONG remains a world leader in providing direct services to cancer patients and survivors, advocating for policies that enhance survivors’ quality of life and developing partnerships that create access to cancer programs across the country. Since 2007, the LIVESTRONG at the YMCA program has made a return to fitness and well-being possible for more than 38,000 survivors in more than 500 YMCA locations. Working with The University of Texas’ Dell Medical School, LIVESTRONG is building the LIVESTRONG Cancer Institutes to reinvent and redesign cancer care for and with people affected by cancer. If anyone you know needs cancer support, please visit LIVESTRONG.org/WeCanHelp. For more information about our programs and services, please visit LIVESTRONG.org.

About the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The CDC works 24/7 saving lives, protecting people from health threats, and saving money through prevention. Whether these threats are global or domestic, chronic or acute, curable or preventable, natural disaster or deliberate attack, CDC is the nation’s health protection agency. Through the Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, CDC is a national leader in developing, implementing, and promoting public health strategies that ease the cancer burden, through primary prevention, early detection, survivor support, and end-of-life care. CDC works with national cancer organizations, state health agencies, and other key groups to monitor cancer data and trends, conduct research and evaluation, build capacity through partnerships to develop strong cancer prevention and control programs, provide breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer screening to underserved populations, and develop communication campaigns and educational materials on cancer prevention for both health professionals and the public.  

For more information about CDC’s cancer prevention and control programs, visit the Division of Cancer Prevention and Control’s website at: www.cdc.gov/cancer, or call 1-800-CDC-INFO (1 800-232-4636).

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