Press Releases

New Understanding of Cancer Care for Survivors and Diverse Populations
Jun 17, 2010
Biennial Cancer Survivorship Research Conference Aims to Improve Quality of Life for Cancer Survivors and Their Families

Washington, D.C. — June 17, 2010 — More than 500 leading experts in cancer survivorship, including a number from countries outside the United States, have convened for Cancer Survivorship Research: Recovery and Beyond. Researchers, health professionals, survivors, and cancer advocates will discuss the latest scientific information on coping, health outcomes, and new directions in research and services for those living with a history of cancer, their caregivers, and health care providers. Experts will share new knowledge about the role of culture and context in cancer survivorship, physician attitudes towards survivorship care planning, and the interface of aging and co-morbidities.

The biennial conference was initiated in 2002 to bring together investigators and clinicians involved in cutting-edge cancer survivorship research. This fifth conference 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.

One session will explore breast cancer survivorship among Hispanic women. While a number of studies have examined the long-term impact of breast cancer survivorship on quality of life, few of these have followed Hispanic breast cancer survivors long-term. New research presented at the conference examining the influence of social class on breast cancer outcomes shows strong adverse effects of poverty on breast cancer survival. These effects are due to differences in stage at diagnosis and in receipt of recommended treatments, and suggest that social class may be an important contributor to adverse outcomes for Hispanic women after breast cancer. The study concludes that it will be vitally important to enact improvements to health care to assure that state-of-the-art cancer screening and treatments are accessible to all women at risk for or who receive a diagnosis of breast cancer, regardless of race or ethnicity.  

Another panel of experts will explore perceptions of positive life changes following cancer. Cancer survivors often report experiencing positive changes in many parts of their lives, particularly in their appreciation of life, personal relationships, and spirituality. In one study released at the conference, survivors reported a fair amount of both positive and negative change; the domains highest in positive change were appreciation of life and healthy behavior, while the domains highest in negative change were beliefs in control and fairness. Further, perceptions of positive changes do not diminish associations of perceived negative changes with poorer well-being, but they appear to have independents association with positive affect and spiritual wellbeing. As a result, this study demonstrates that considering positive and negative changes together produces a more nuanced picture of perceived changes in survivors.

As in prior biennial conferences, this year’s conference also includes a Survivor Advocate program, which provides travel scholarships for 20 advocates to attend the conference, 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, and the potential impact their attendance will have on their future advocacy work.

The conference begins Thursday, June 17 with the opening session, “Physical Activity, Weight Status and Survivorship.” Other featured topics include challenges and lessons learned in research with young cancer survivors, health information technology in cancer survivorship, and comprehensive approaches to rehabilitation and recovery after cancer. Visit for more information.


About the American Cancer Society


The American Cancer Society combines an unyielding passion with nearly a century of experience to save lives and end cancer for good. As a global grassroots force of three million volunteers, we fight for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community. We save lives by helping you stay well by preventing cancer or detecting it early, helping you get well by being there for you during and after a diagnosis, by finding cures through groundbreaking discovery and fighting back through public policy. As the nation’s largest non-governmental investor in cancer research, contributing about $3.4 billion, we turn what we know about cancer into what we do. As a result, more than 11 million people in America who have had cancer and countless more who have avoided it will be celebrating birthdays this year. To learn more about us or to get help, call us anytime, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345 or visit



About the National Cancer Institute


The NCI, established under the National Cancer Institute Act of 1937, is the Federal Government's principal agency for cancer research and training. The National Cancer Act of 1971 broadened the scope and responsibilities of the NCI and created the National Cancer Program. The National Cancer Institute coordinates the National Cancer Program, which conducts and supports research, training, health information dissemination, and other programs with respect to the cause, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of cancer, rehabilitation from cancer, and the continuing care of cancer patients and the families of cancer patients. For more information about cancer, please visit the NCI Web site at, or call NCI's Cancer Information Service at 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237).


Founded in 1997 by cancer survivor and champion cyclist Lance Armstrong and based in Austin, Texas, LIVESTRONG fights for the 28 million people around the world living with cancer today. LIVESTRONG connects individuals to the support they need, leverages funding and resources to spur innovation and engages communities and leaders to drive social change. Known for the iconic yellow wristband, LIVESTRONG’s mission is to inspire and empower anyone affected by cancer. For more information visit


About the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is a national leader in developing and implementing public health approaches that ease the burden of cancer, from primary prevention to end-of-life care. Through the Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, CDC works with national cancer organizations, state health agencies, and other key groups to develop, implement, and promote effective strategies to reduce cancer risk, detect cancers early, and support cancer survivors.

CDC’s comprehensive and collaborative approach to addressing the nation’s cancer burden includes monitoring cancer data and trends, conducting research and evaluation, building capacity through partnerships to develop strong cancer prevention and control programs, and  developing 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 website at:, or call 1-800-CDC-INFO (1 800-232-4636), 24 hours a day, every day.