Coping With Cancer as a Chronic Disease

As the science of cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and patient care continues to advance, cancer survivors are increasing in number. So is the average length of lifespan for survivors in cancer care after diagnosis. For oncology physicians, oncology nurse leaders and nursing staff, and hospital administrators alike, this represents both a welcome sign of progress and a new set of challenges in cancer care delivery and resource management.

A report produced by the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS), Red Flags in Caring for Cancer Survivors, reviews at length and in detail the many ways cancer affects both the state of mind and the physical well-being of patients. Once cancer appears, it never really goes away, even if it is successfully treated and eliminated. It lives on in the physical and psychological quality of life of patients who survive, and in the lives of their families, friends, and caregivers.

Cancer Touches Almost Everyone

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the USA, by a very narrow margin behind heart disease. Almost 600,000 deaths from cancer were recorded in 2014, the most recent year of data compiled by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, for approximately 21 million Americans afflicted with cancer (as of 2015 data), the process of living through diagnosis, treatment, and survivorship also takes a heavy toll in many ways.

The Cancer Survivors report from the ONS identifies critical areas where patients and their families need support and guidance in coping with effects of cancer therapy, both during treatment and after:

  • surveillance, prevention, and detection of spreading, recurrent, or new cancers.
  • interventions to manage effects and consequences of cancer treatments.
  • coordination of ongoing treatments among primary care providers and specialists.
  • detailed care planning to support physical, emotional, social, and financial needs.

Key Roles For Oncology Nurse Leaders

NHS Solutions has opportunities for interim oncology nurse leaders in the constantly evolving field of cancer care. Call us today and learn more about the services we offer to make your next career move the best one yet.

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