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Experts highlight gaps in knowledge on caring for survivors of teenage and young adult cancers
Date:6/10/2008

SA, the challenge is being met by the establishment of Adolescent and Young Adult Clinics and Specialised Survivorship Clinics under the auspices of the National Cancer Institute. In the UK, the government's recently published Cancer Reform Strategy announced the setting up of a new National Cancer Survivorship Initiative to consider a range of approaches to caring for cancer survivors.

Simon Davies, chief executive of Teenage Cancer Trust, says: "We know that this is a major issue that affects a lot of our patients and is increasingly going up the national agenda. I have just been invited to join the National Health Improvement Agency's working group on improving services to survivors of childhood cancers. I am also a member of the National Cancer Research Institute's Teenage and Young Adult Clinical Studies Development Group. One of their three strands of work is survivorship led by Professor Mike Hawkins."

Speaking before the conference started, Prof Mike Hawkins, director of the Centre for Childhood Cancer Survivor Studies at the University of Birmingham (UK) agrees that survivorship following cancer in childhood, teenage or young adult years is becoming an increasingly important area in the UK and it has been highlighted by the cancer czar, Professor Mike Richards. Prof Hawkins and his colleagues plan to follow-up approximately 25,000 survivors of cancer diagnosed between the ages of 15-24 between 1970-2000 in order to discover the specific problems this age group face.

He identifies three key areas where there need to be improvements:

  1. the establishment of standardised guidelines for following up TYA cancer survivors;

  2. extending the evidence base for guidelines on long-term follow-up;

  3. providing every survivor with a "patient passport" on their discharge from hospital, which would contain a summary of all their treatments and the implications for any future medical treatments.

Some of thes
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Contact: Emma Mason
wordmason@mac.com
44-077-112-96986
Teenage Cancer Trust
Source:Eurekalert

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