Increasing numbers of patients are joining the ranks of cancer survivors, but many struggle with a range of long-term physical and psychological effects from their treatments that are not being addressed by physicians.
Now, a new report by the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council of the National Academies recommends that cancer patients receive a “survivorship care plan” to help improve their health care and quality of life after cancer (http://www.nap.edu). The report is meant to create greater awareness of and better treatments for cancer therapies' lasting adverse effects, which can include infertility, sexual dysfunction, cognitive impairment, premature aging, psychological distress, and increased risks of recurrent and second cancers (Hampton. JAMA. 2005;294:167-168).
Hampton T. Cancer Survivors Need Better Care. JAMA. 2005;294(23):2959–2960. doi:10.1001/jama.294.23.2959