Support people to live well during and after cancer treatment
Whilst cancer survival has improved by almost 40% over the past 30 years, living longer with cancer doesn’t always mean living well. People diagnosed with cancer can face long-term challenges resulting from their cancer diagnosis that can severely reduce quality of life.
As more people will be living with cancer, there’s never been a more important time for NSW to develop a sustainable model for survivorship care that will meet the ongoing needs of cancer survivors and to deliver optimal care.
Cancer Council NSW recommendations:
Establish and fund a NSW cancer survivorship framework based on the Clinical Oncology Society of Australia (COSA) survivorship model by 2025.
Ensure people being treated for cancer receive a needs assessment from their healthcare team and receive an appropriate care plan.
Embed referral pathways that encourage health care providers to refer to appropriate supportive care including services provided by Cancer Council NSW.
Work with the Australian Government to ensure that primary care providers are supported to provide survivorship care.
Why are we asking the Government to make this change?
Our research has shown that people with a current cancer diagnosis and those with a past cancer diagnosis continue to face unmet supportive care needs, regardless of where they sit along the cancer care continuum. Cancer patients and survivors report that several highly prevalent psychological and physical needs were frequently unmet.For some of the supportive care needs surveyed, those with a past cancer diagnosis reported unmet needs at higher rates than those with a current cancer, highlighting the importance of quality multidisciplinary care that goes beyond diagnosis and treatment.Unlike Victoria and South Australia, NSW has no statewide plan to ensure that people are supported to live well with and after a cancer diagnosis. As more people will be diagnosed with cancer, there’s never been a more important time for NSW to develop a sustainable model for survivorship care that will meet the ongoing needs of cancer survivors and to deliver optimal care.
What can be achieved if Government makes this change?
Supporting the health and wellbeing of people beyond a cancer diagnosis and treatment will improve the health outcomes for people affected by cancer. Establishing a statewide survivorship framework would define a minimum standard of survivorship care across NSW to ensure the various needs of cancer survivors are being met along the entire cancer care continuum. An improved model of survivorship care would result in improvements in outcomes for survivors including improvements in survival, reduced risk of cancer recurrence, better quality of life and improved functional and wellbeing outcomes.