AUSTIN, Texas – June 18, 2015 – A survey distributed by the Livestrong Foundation to 350 cancer survivors this spring revealed that a only small population of survivors are receiving survivorship care plans and treatment summaries from their physicians.
However, nearly all survivors (94 percent) who did receive a care plan found it easy to understand and two-thirds then shared it with their primary care physician and a loved one or family member. The majority of these survivors used their plan to understand: their treatment; which tests are needed to detect new or recurring cancers; when to be tested in the future; long-term effects of their treatment; and healthy behaviors to reduce their chances of recurrence.
Despite the overwhelming support voiced for the use of care plans, of the more than 200 people who were post-treatment in the survey, only 17 percent received one, while less than one-third of respondents received a written summary of their treatment.
To ensure patients and survivors receive the important post-treatment information they need to stay healthy, the Livestrong Foundation has a free, online survivorship care plan tool. This tool allows patients, providers and survivors to anonymously enter basic information about their diagnosis and treatment and automatically generates an individualized care plan.
“For nearly 10 years, the Livestrong Survey has directly influenced and shaped the programs and services that we offer to people affected by cancer,” said Dr. Ruth Rechis, Livestrong Foundation VP of programs. “We use these surveys to learn from cancer patients, survivors, caregivers and loved ones about their needs, then develop programs and resources to help meet those needs.”
Learn more about Livestrong Care Plans at Livestrong CarePlan.org and about its 10 years of surveys at Livestrong.org/Livestrong-Surveys.
About the Livestrong Foundation
The Livestrong Foundation fights to improve the lives of people affected by cancer now. For 18 years, the Foundation has been a voice for cancer survivors and has directly served more than three million people. Livestrong answers survivors’ questions, tells their stories and helps them live their lives through direct service, advocacy and inventive partnership models. In 2014, the Foundation launched its boldest enterprise yet—the Livestrong Cancer Institutes at the Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin. The Institutes will be a pioneering approach to patient-centered cancer care designed by survivors to deliver the best teaching practices and the greatest collaborative research to serve the cancer community.