A special issue of the European Journal of Cancer (EJC) presents detailed information on the numerous topics covered by the 1st EORTC Cancer Survivorship Summit held this past January in Brussels, Belgium.
Early diagnosis, targeted therapeutics, and more personalized multimodal treatments has boosted survival rates of patients with cancer and led to a large and rapidly increasing number of cancer survivors. Despite this good news, cancer survivors are often confronted with a broad spectrum of late adverse treatment effects and some must also deal with societal discrimination due to slower performance, chronic fatigue or partial inability. Such things can adversely affect employment, education, insurance or mortgage opportunities.
In January 2014, the 1st EORTC Cancer Survivorship Summit was organized to facilitate interaction between clinicians, researchers, social workers, patients, insurers, bankers and policy makers. A special issue of the European Journal of Cancer is entirely dedicated to the research presented at this Summit and addresses, respectively, second malignancies, cardiovascular disease, cognitive dysfunction, infertility/sexuality and psycho-social problems following cancer treatment.
This summit was a resounding success, and the series of articles presented in this EJC issue have set the stage for cancer survivorship efforts in Europe and will undoubtedly stimulate actions addressing these poignant issues. They show that coordinating efforts and interactions between patients, health care providers, insurers, bankers, and politicians among others can lead to concrete actions for the benefit of cancer survivors.
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 May 2015 the EORTC will organize a special workshop for European employers, patients, and politicians to discuss Cancer Survivorship and Employment.
John Bean, PhD
EORTC, Medical Science Writer