Early diagnosis, innovative drugs and integrated therapeutic strategies combining chemotherapy, surgery and radiotherapy have resulted in dramatic increases in cancer survival rates. In fact, EORTC trials have led to long term survival and cure for children with leukaemia and patients with Hodgkin’s lymphoma or testicular and breast cancers.
This success is good news, but it brings with a host of unanticipated issues facing cancer survivors, who are frequently excluded from insurance, mortgages and jobs.
The EORTC is active in addressing these issues. The 1st EORTC Cancer Survivorship Summit facilitated interactions between clinicians, researchers, social workers, patients, insurers, bankers and policy makers, and addressed second malignancies, cardiovascular disease, cognitive dysfunction, infertility/sexuality and psycho-social problems following cancer treatment. In light of the success of the first summit, a 2nd EORTC Cancer Survivorship Summit will be held 31 March – 01 April 2016 in Brussels, and in Spring 2015 the EORTC will organize a special cancer and employment forum for European employers, patients, and politicians.
John Bean, PhD
EORTC, Medical Science Writer