Yellow Ribbon

According to the National Cancer Institute, an individual is considered a cancer survivor from the time of diagnosis until the end of life. In addition, because a cancer diagnosis also affects family members, friends, and caregivers, they too are considered cancer survivors.

A goal of the “2015-2020 NH Comprehensive Cancer Plan” is to optimize quality of life for those affected by cancer. As the number of cancer survivors continues to increase, more services will be needed to treat the physical, psychological, social, spiritual, and financial issues faced by cancer survivors. 

Of the nearly 15.5 million estimated cancer survivors in the U.S as of January 2016, NH accounts for over 77,000.1

Although it is great news that there are increasing numbers of survivors, we are challenged to meet their needs and improve their quality of life. The NH Comprehensive Cancer Collaboration (NH CCC) Quality of Life Task Force and NH Hospice and Palliative Care Organization conducted a survey during 2017 as an update to surveys conducted in 2010 and 2013. The purpose of the survey was to better understand how patients access palliative care services, barriers to care and what can be done to remove those barriers.

136 healthcare providers were surveyed, including home care, hospice, long term care, hospital palliative care providers, and cancer centers. One finding showed that providers are most likely to be concerned when ordering palliative care services about upsetting the patient and family, their ability to provide out-patient service, or the financial burden on the patient and/or the program. A third of respondents say they have no concerns. Nearly all respondents agree that private insurance providers need to be educated about palliative care services.

NH CCC works in collaboration with its partners to stay up-to-date with the innovative approaches to address survivorship issues. In an effort to increase public awareness about cancer survival and decrease the incidence of this disease, NH CCC joins national and statewide organizations to promote National Cancer Survivors Month. If you would like to learn more about the Quality of Life Task Force, go to: https://www.nhcancerplan.org/index.php/quality-of-life.

1American Cancer Society. Cancer Treatment & Survivorship Facts & Figures 2016-2017

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