Update from 2008 ASCO Meeting in Chicago
Patricia Ganz, MD received the American Cancer Society Award at ASCO this year. Professor of Medicine at the University of California at Los Angeles and Director of Cancer Prevention and Research at Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, Dr. Ganz has a long history of concern for cancer patients and their quality of life.
In the lecture that accompanied the ACS Award, Dr. Ganz discussed the importance of research that looks at quality of life and the effects of cancer treatment, both during treatment and after it. In particular she encouraged the development of survivorship care plans that improve communication among patients, their oncology care providers, and other health professionals who care for them after their cancer treatment ends.
Discussing such plans, Dr. Ganz explained the reasons for a survivorship care plan.
- To summarize and communicate what transpired during cancer treatment.
- To describe known and potential late effects of cancer treatment.
- To communicate what has been done and what needs to be done in the future.
- To promote a healthy lifestyle to prevent recurrence and reduce the risk of other comorbid conditions.
She pointed out the key elements that needs to be included in an effective survivorship care plan,
- Specific tissue diagnosis and stage
- Initial treatment plan and dates of treatment
- Expected short and long-term effects of treatment
- Late toxicity monitoring needed
- Surveillance for recurrence or second cancer
- Who will take responsibility for survivorship care
- Psychosocial and vocational needs
- Recommended preventive behaviors and recommendations
Dr. Ganz has been a good friend to cancer advocates, encouraging their work and involvement in the lives of people living with cancer. We at C3 applaud this award and the special woman who received it.