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LIVESTRONG and Penn Medicine announce partnership to bring online care plan tool to cancer survivors
Date:5/27/2009

AUSTIN, Texas; PHILADELPHIA The Lance Armstrong Foundation (LAF) and Penn Medicine announced today a four-year partnership to further develop and disseminate the LIVESTRONG Care Plan Powered by Penn Medicine's OncoLink. This free service gives cancer survivors, their families and physicians the ability to create an individualized plan of care using up-to-date treatment information based on Institute of Medicine recommendations, as well educating them about their options to maintain optimal health once they are out of treatment.

The LIVESTRONG Care Plan assists adults diagnosed with cancer in understanding and planning for such issues as: potential late effects of treatment; recommendations for cancer screening (recurrence or new primary); psychosocial effects (including relationships and sexuality/fertility); recommendations for a healthy lifestyle; genetic counseling (if appropriate); effective prevention options; and a list of resources made available through the LIVESTRONG cancer survivorship support services.

"There are currently 12 million cancer survivors in the United States and 28 million worldwide," said Doug Ulman, President and CEO of the Lance Armstrong Foundation. "The lack of post-cancer medical care leaves a staggering number of people without support. The LIVESTRONG Care Plan is a simple, easily accessible resource to help people manage the ongoing effects of cancer treatments, communicate with their medical team and get the support they need in all aspects of their fight."

Originally launched as OncoLife on Penn Medicine's OncoLink website in 2007, the tool is the only one of its kind, created and updated continuously by a team of cancer physicians and nurses. With its transition to the LIVESTRONG Care Plan, it will be able to reach tens of thousands of additional cancer survivors, their friends, families and health care providers through the LAF's many supportive activities and programs. Available in Spanish as well as English, the LIVESTRONG Care Plan is designed to also help facilitate a meaningful discussion between cancer survivors and their health care providers. For example, the care plan provides users with a report outlining medical tests survivors should discuss with their physician once they have completed active treatment.

"The LIVESTRONG Care Plan empowers cancer survivors to take an active role in their health care by providing customized information based on the cancer therapies they receive," said James M. Metz, MD., associate professor at Penn Medicine's Department of Radiation Oncology and Editor-in-Chief of OncoLink. "This unique tool allows them to open meaningful dialog with their healthcare team to assist them in their continued journey through cancer survivorship."

The LAF's interest in providing a state-of-the-art care plan through its Network reaches back to 2006 and the first meeting of the LIVESTRONG Survivorship Center of Excellence Network which identified the need for a care plan through which cancer survivors could document important milestones in their cancer experiences. The benefit of cancer survivorship care plans was embraced by an Institute of Medicine report, "From Cancer Patient to Cancer Survivor: Lost in Transition" in November, 2005.

Today's announcement of a partnership between LAF and Penn Medicine supports the mission of both entities to provide cancer survivors around the world an easy and accessible way for them to take charge and optimize the quality of their lives.


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Contact: Marc Kaplan
marc.kaplan@uphs.upenn.edu
215-662-2560
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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