Cancer survivors need more integrated long-term care, stronger advocacy policies

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group of people hands together team concept_oncology news australiaAs more patients are living longer with cancer, multi-stakeholder-driven changes are required to improve integrated, or coordinated, care that addresses the range of their long-term needs, according to a new Bristol-Myers Squibb-sponsored global research initiative developed by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) titled Global Cancer Survivorship: The Need for Integrated Care.

The research, released today in the lead up to World Cancer Day 2017, reveals challenges with providing cancer services that are physically and financially accessible, and characterises policy and practice changes necessary to deliver integrated care for cancer survivors in the long-term.

“According to a new global research initiative, greater engagement from healthcare providers, employers, patient advocates and policymakers is needed to drive effective strategies and improve efficiencies in long-term, integrated cancer care that addresses the quality of survival at all stages,” said Emmanuel Blin, Chief Strategy Officer, Bristol-Myers Squibb. “The multi-pronged research explores several concepts, including the value of cancer survivorship, and introduces powerful ideas to support the cancer community in the long-term.”

Bristol-Myers Squibb sponsored the Global Cancer Survivorship: The Need for Integrated Care research initiative conducted by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), a world leader in global business intelligence, and the business-to-business arm of The Economist Group, which publishes The Economist newspaper.

The global project examines the needs of cancer survivors and explores how governments, businesses, healthcare professionals and patient advocates support survivors, while probing additional changes they may need to make in the future.

Cancer survivorship, the process of living with, through and beyond cancer, is a positive global public health trend expected to grow unprecedentedly in the next few decades because of improved diagnostics and treatments.

Cancers are among the leading causes of illness and death worldwide, with approximately 14 million newly diagnosed patients and 8.2 million cancer-related deaths annually, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Some 32.6 million people were five-year cancer survivors in 2012, the most recent data available, but the rates of survivors vary by cancer and geographies.

WHO reports more developed regions have survival rates of about 1,619 people per 100,000 population, but in less developed regions, the rate falls to about 376 people.

Key research outputs, available at, include:

  • Evidence-based approaches to address the future of cancer care via a series of scenarios, modelled after The Economist’s ‘World If’ supplement, explore the complexities of access to cancer care and value-based healthcare, offering diverse approaches to making these scenarios tomorrow’s reality.
  • Approaches to strengthen workplace support for those affected by cancer. Results from a survey of 500 senior executives in 20 countries show that some organisations are introducing innovative policies for employees when newly diagnosed with cancer and under treatment, as well as those surviving with these illnesses as chronic conditions or who serve as caregivers for others with cancer. However, more action is needed.
  • Of the companies surveyed, 60% offer workplace adjustments to employees living with cancer, and 54% offer compassionate leave beyond nationally set limits to employees caring for a family member with cancer. However, a comprehensive explanation of return-to-work options is only offered by 44% of surveyed employers, for example.
  • Best practices to address challenges faced by patients, primary-care doctors and policymakers via seamless, more efficient support networks that yield improved patient outcomes.
  • Improving organizational aspects of cancer care, such as care pathways that map treatment, including rehabilitation and aftercare, with structured and systematic communication and coordination between care providers, must also account for individual experiences and strong policy partnership across government and non-government sectors.

Additional research to be published later in 2017 will explore cancer survivor policies and experiences in six countries, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States, and takes an in-depth look into the challenges cancer survivors face in these geographies.
[hr] SourceBusinessWire


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