GW Cancer Institute Contributes to Clinical Care Guidelines for the Growing Number of Prostate Cancer Survivors

Recommendations to Support Primary Care of Estimated 2.8 Million Men with History of Prostate Cancer in the U.S.

WASHINGTON (June 10, 2014) — In response to the increasing need to support primary care clinicians who care for prostate cancer survivors, the American Cancer Society (ACS), with support from the GW Cancer Institute and a panel of experts, has published the ACS Prostate Cancer Survivorship Care Guidelines.

“With a growing number of prostate cancer survivors, it is vitally important that we establish clinical practice guidelines that support these patients as they move forward and live full and productive lives,” said Mandi Pratt-Chapman, M.A., director of the GW Cancer Institute, housed within the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS), and co-director of The Survivorship Center, along with Rebecca Cowens-Alvarado from the ACS.

The guidelines, developed in response to the National Cancer Survivorship Resource Center’s strategic recommendations aimed at enhancing the quality of clinical follow-up care for cancer survivors who have completed their initial treatment, provide a combination of evidence and expert clinical practice-based management recommendations to guide prostate cancer survivorship care in primary care settings.

The Survivorship Center, founded by the ACS and the GW Cancer Institute, with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, aims to impact individual, systems, and policy gaps in post-treatment survivorship care. The Center’s work focuses on survivorship clinical care and resources to help survivors achieve optimal health and quality of life, increasing the importance of post treatment survivorship as a public health issue.

As part of the process of identifying guidelines for care, The Survivorship Center convened a multidisciplinary expert work group to review the current literature on prostate cancer, its treatments, and their effects in order to provide clinical follow-up care guidelines on the role of primary care clinicians in caring for prostate cancer survivors.  The ACS Prostate Cancer Survivorship Care Guidelines address health promotion, surveillance for prostate cancer recurrence, screening for second primary cancer, physical and psychosocial long-term and late effects assessment and management, care coordination, and implications for clinical practice.

This is the first post-treatment clinical care guideline issued by The Survivorship Center that will guide primary care providers in delivering care to cancer survivors. Additional guidelines are in the process of development.

“Being a part of this process has been thrilling. We know that cancer survivors have different needs than those who have not suffered from the disease. Physicians need to know how to apply current knowledge about cancer survivors to improve post-treatment care – and these guidelines provide that high-level of information,” said Jeanny Aragon-Ching, M.D., assistant professor of medicine at SMHS.

More information on the guidelines is available.

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