A new Institute of Medicine(IOM) reports focus on changing the dynamic of cancer care to include the impacts of coping with a diagnosis and treatment for cancer. As patients are surviving longer than they have in the past these issues become more and more important. By addressing these quality of life issues the patient, the families and society will benefit. The IOM website says:

Cancer care today often provides state-of-the-science biomedical treatment, but fails to address the psychological and social (psychosocial) problems associated with the illness. These problems ? including patients’ lack of information or skills needed to manage the illness; anxiety, depression or other emotional problems; lack of transportation or other resources; and disruptions in work, school, and family life ? cause additional suffering, weaken adherence to prescribed treatments, and threaten patients’ return to health.

Today, it is not possible to deliver good-quality cancer care without addressing patients’ psychosocial health needs. All patients with cancer and their families should expect and receive cancer care that ensures the provision of appropriate psychosocial health services. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) asked the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to study the delivery of psychosocial services to cancer patients and their families and identify ways to improve it. This report recommends ten actions that oncology providers, health policy makers, educators, health insurers, health plans, quality oversight organizations, researchers and research sponsors, and consumer advocates should undertake to ensure that this standard is met.

It is important that advocates and health care providers integrate survivorship issues into their programs.

Please share this information broadly.

The IOM has produced several reports:

Click here for a resource list.

Click here for a report brief for patients. 

Click here for a report brief for providers.

To access the IOM website on this issue click here.