Cancer Survivorship Care for Adult Survivors of Childhood Cancer: An Adult Based Model Facilitating Multi-Disciplinary Long-Term Follow-Up Care, Education and ResearchKaren E Kinahan1*, Lynne Wagner1, Timothy Pearman1,2,4, Stacy Sanford1,4 and Aarati Didwania1,3
- *Corresponding Author:
- Karen Kinahan RN, MS, PCNS-BC
Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University
675 N. St. Clair 21-100, Chicago, IL 60611, USA
E-mail: [email protected]
Received date: May 10, 2013; Accepted date: June 24, 2013; Published date: June 27, 2013
Citation: Kinahan KE, Wagner L, Pearman T, Sanford S, Didwania A (2013) Cancer Survivorship Care for Adult Survivors of Childhood Cancer: An Adult Based Model Facilitating Multi-Disciplinary Long-Term Follow-Up Care, Education and Research. J Integr Oncol 2:106. doi:10.4172/2329-6771.1000106
Copyright: © 2013 Kinahan KE, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
As the number of adult survivors of childhood cancers continues to grow, the challenges of long-term follow-up (LTFU) care escalate. When adult survivors of childhood cancer are followed in a pediatric oncology setting their care can be fragmented, leading to barriers for both providers and patients. To address the need for continued LTFU care as survivors age out of the pediatric medicine arena, the STAR (Survivors Taking Action & Responsibility) Program was established in June of 2001 within an adult oncology setting at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University. The 11-year old program currently has over 320 survivors enrolled (ages 19-60, all diagnosed at 21 years of age or younger). The program’s three main foci are (1) comprehensive, long-term followup clinical care, (2) patient/family education and (3) research. The STAR team includes a general internal medicine physician, a clinical health psychologist, and an advanced practice nurse with expertise in childhood cancer and late effects from cancer therapy. The program facilitates referrals to specialty care as appropriate. Patient-oriented events allow opportunities for networking, outreach and education to assist patients in becoming autonomous in their comprehensive care and survivorship. The purpose of this article is to share our experiences with the implementation of this program, offer information on how to build a similar model in institutions caring for childhood cancer patients and adult survivors of childhood cancer.