17 min

Commonly Held Beliefs About Cancer Survivorship Journal of Clinical Oncology (JCO) Podcast

    • Science

Dr. Shannon Westin and her guests, Dr. Emily S. Tonorezos and
Dr. Michael Halpern, discuss their article, "Myths and Presumptions About Cancer Survivorship" recently published in the JCO.
TRANSCRIPT
The guests on this podcast episode have no disclosures to declare.  
Shannon Westin:Hello, everyone, and welcome to another episode of JCO After Hours, the podcast where we go in depth on manuscripts published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. I am your host, Social Media Editor of the JCO, Shannon Westin, and also a GYN Oncologist by trade. I'm thrilled to bring a topic that is very close to my heart. We're going to be talking about a Comments and Controversies article published in the JCO on November 16, 2023, entitled "Myths and Presumptions about Cancer Survivorship." I know you all will find this topic as enthralling as I have, and the authors do not have any conflicts of interest. 
I'm joined by two of the authors on this important work. The first is Dr. Michael Halpern, he’s the Medical Officer in the Health Assessment Research Branch of the Health Care Delivery Research Program. Welcome, Dr. Halpern.
Dr. Michael Halpern: Thank you for having us on.
Shannon Westin: We're also accompanied by Dr. Emily Tonorezos, the Director of the Office of Cancer Survivorship, and both of them work in the Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences at the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health. Welcome. 
Dr. Emily Tonorezos: Thank you for having us.
Shannon Westin: So, let's get right into it. I want to level set first. I would love for one or both of you to speak a little bit about the state of cancer survivorship currently. What's the prevalence of cancer survivors here in the US? Globally? What do we expect as time passes?
Dr. Emily Tonorezos: Thank you for starting with this question. In the Office of Cancer Survivorship, we use a definition of cancer survivor that we got from the advocacy community many years ago. We use a definition that says “a person is a cancer survivor from the time of diagnosis through the balance of life.” That means in the United States, we estimate that we have a little over 18 million cancer survivors, and globally, it's a little more difficult to estimate those numbers. Not every country has a cancer registry to count the number of cases, but we think there are upwards of 53 million cancer survivors diagnosed within the last five years in the world.
Shannon Westin: Wow. And so this is why it's so important, such a large number, and that's just an estimate. And we know this is only going to be growing. I personally learned so much from your manuscript, which is critically based on the understanding that our beliefs as practitioners truly impact the way we care for our cancer survivors. I admit, I definitely held or hold some of these beliefs, and I'm certainly grateful that you're providing that objective evidence to support or refute these claims. 
So, with that being said, let's tackle the first one that you all approached: Shared care results in the best outcomes for cancer survivors. I think first I'd love to hear about what your definition of shared care is. What does that really mean in the context of cancer survivorship?
Dr. Michael Halpern: Shared care is a deliberate process to coordinate and integrate components of survivorship care between specialty, in this case, oncology providers, and primary care providers. And part of the issues with this belief about shared care being the best have to do with the broad practice experience of survivorship care. While the ideal definition is this integrated and coordinated care, shared care can range from one extreme to being essentially oncologist-led care - where the oncologist also sends information to the primary care providers; and to the other extreme - care led by primary care providers and an oncologist is available to answer questions as needed. So part of the issue with the available li

Dr. Shannon Westin and her guests, Dr. Emily S. Tonorezos and
Dr. Michael Halpern, discuss their article, "Myths and Presumptions About Cancer Survivorship" recently published in the JCO.
TRANSCRIPT
The guests on this podcast episode have no disclosures to declare.  
Shannon Westin:Hello, everyone, and welcome to another episode of JCO After Hours, the podcast where we go in depth on manuscripts published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. I am your host, Social Media Editor of the JCO, Shannon Westin, and also a GYN Oncologist by trade. I'm thrilled to bring a topic that is very close to my heart. We're going to be talking about a Comments and Controversies article published in the JCO on November 16, 2023, entitled "Myths and Presumptions about Cancer Survivorship." I know you all will find this topic as enthralling as I have, and the authors do not have any conflicts of interest. 
I'm joined by two of the authors on this important work. The first is Dr. Michael Halpern, he’s the Medical Officer in the Health Assessment Research Branch of the Health Care Delivery Research Program. Welcome, Dr. Halpern.
Dr. Michael Halpern: Thank you for having us on.
Shannon Westin: We're also accompanied by Dr. Emily Tonorezos, the Director of the Office of Cancer Survivorship, and both of them work in the Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences at the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health. Welcome. 
Dr. Emily Tonorezos: Thank you for having us.
Shannon Westin: So, let's get right into it. I want to level set first. I would love for one or both of you to speak a little bit about the state of cancer survivorship currently. What's the prevalence of cancer survivors here in the US? Globally? What do we expect as time passes?
Dr. Emily Tonorezos: Thank you for starting with this question. In the Office of Cancer Survivorship, we use a definition of cancer survivor that we got from the advocacy community many years ago. We use a definition that says “a person is a cancer survivor from the time of diagnosis through the balance of life.” That means in the United States, we estimate that we have a little over 18 million cancer survivors, and globally, it's a little more difficult to estimate those numbers. Not every country has a cancer registry to count the number of cases, but we think there are upwards of 53 million cancer survivors diagnosed within the last five years in the world.
Shannon Westin: Wow. And so this is why it's so important, such a large number, and that's just an estimate. And we know this is only going to be growing. I personally learned so much from your manuscript, which is critically based on the understanding that our beliefs as practitioners truly impact the way we care for our cancer survivors. I admit, I definitely held or hold some of these beliefs, and I'm certainly grateful that you're providing that objective evidence to support or refute these claims. 
So, with that being said, let's tackle the first one that you all approached: Shared care results in the best outcomes for cancer survivors. I think first I'd love to hear about what your definition of shared care is. What does that really mean in the context of cancer survivorship?
Dr. Michael Halpern: Shared care is a deliberate process to coordinate and integrate components of survivorship care between specialty, in this case, oncology providers, and primary care providers. And part of the issues with this belief about shared care being the best have to do with the broad practice experience of survivorship care. While the ideal definition is this integrated and coordinated care, shared care can range from one extreme to being essentially oncologist-led care - where the oncologist also sends information to the primary care providers; and to the other extreme - care led by primary care providers and an oncologist is available to answer questions as needed. So part of the issue with the available li

17 min

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