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National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship, UCLA, WellPoint, and Genentech Launch Initiative to Provide Coordinated Follow-Up Care for People Surviving Cancer
Date:2/19/2009

INDIANAPOLIS, LOS ANGELES, SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., WASHINGTON, Feb. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Tens of thousands of people surviving a cancer diagnosis may benefit from a new program being introduced today by a collaboration of health care providers, patient advocates, health benefit insurers and a biotechnology company.

Journey Forward ( www.JourneyForward.org ), which is launching as a pilot program in California, Colorado, Maine, Nevada and New Hampshire, promotes physician and patient understanding of the post-treatment effects of cancer. By facilitating the development of a survivorship care plan, the program aims to improve continuity and coordination of care for cancer survivors throughout their lives.

This first-of-its-kind program was created in response to recommendations by the independent Institute of Medicine (IOM), which concluded in a November 2005 report that "the consequences of cancer and its treatment are substantial" and largely unmet. The report says many cancer survivors are "lost in transition" from active treatment to survivorship, with few clues about how to manage their follow-up care and about the physical and mental health problems that may result from their treatment.

"Patients often have no idea what to expect once they've finished their cancer treatment, and neither do the primary care providers on their team," said Dr. Patricia Ganz, director of the UCLA Cancer Survivorship Center and a nationally renowned expert on survivorship. "There is a need for better post-treatment coordination of care and the treatment summary and survivorship care plan is a place to start. Survivors often don't know what kind of surveillance and follow-up care they need to monitor for disease recurrence or any late effects that may result from their cancer treatment."

"By providing tools and information to both partie
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SOURCE WellPoint, Inc.
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