Cancer for increasing numbers has become a curable illness and for most, a controllable disease. However, as the growing community of long-term cancer survivors is telling us, few of our modern therapies are benign. The chronic and late effects of cancer and its treatment can range from mild and transient problems, to serious and at times fatal conditions, and affect all aspects of a person?s well-being: physical, functional, emotional, social, and economic. As survivors say, ?it isn?t over when it?s over.? As our understanding of the many challenges attendant to the treatment for and recovery from cancer increases, the imperative to communicate this information to survivors, their family members and their healthcare providers has grown in parallel. When treatment ends, people often expect life to return to the way it was before the cancer diagnosis. This rarely occurs. Understanding what to expect after cancer treatment can help survivors and their families plan for follow-up care, identify the ?normal? course of recovery but also appreciate when a problem may need more attention, make appropriate lifestyle changes, and stay hopeful. The most significant hurdle is reaching those most in need of this information. While educational groups and booklets are helpful, they may not be readily accessible to large numbers of survivors. In addition, as the long-term and late effects of treatment change over time, staying current with these and techniques to manage them also poses a challenge. The Cancer Survivorship Telephone Education Workshops have become a highly effective platform through which to disseminate information about cancer to as broad an audience as possible ? immediately overcoming barriers created by distance, physical disability, and geographic isolation. In order to promote broad reach and participation, these conferences are free and available to anyone who has access to a telephone or a computer (programs are accessible on the internet as podcasts). Participants engage in educational discussions during which scientific and clinical experts summarize current knowledge about and techniques to address all aspects of the cancer experience. These sessions also often include the sharing of experiences and messages from survivors themselves, which serve as a source or affirmation and inspiration to many living with a cancer history.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Research and Development Contracts (N01)
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Saic-Frederick, Inc.
United States
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