New NCCN resource for survivors helps guide life after cancer diagnosis and treatment

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The National Comprehensive Cancer Network published two new Guidelines for Patients on healthy living and managing late and long-term side effects, and include appropriate ongoing screening for recurrence.

The books are available for free to view and print, or via the NCCN Patient Guides for Cancer App. The guidelines are Survivorship Care for Healthy Living and Survivorship Care for Cancer-Related Late and Long-Term Effects.

“These guidelines are applicable for survivors who are disease free as well as those living with cancer. They are far reaching across all cancer types, genders, and ages,” Crystal Denlinger, of Fox Chase Cancer Center, and chair of the NCCN Guidelines Panel for Survivorship, said in a statement.

“These guidelines include information on healthy living after a health crisis; which are good recommendations even for people who’ve never been diagnosed with cancer,” Tara Sanft, of Yale Cancer Center/Smilow Cancer Hospital, and vice-chair of the NCCN Guidelines Panel for Survivorship, said in a statement. “We want everyone to make a realistic plan to start moving more. It sounds simple, but we have really good data that exercise can reduce recurrence, even in people who didn’t exercise before diagnosis.”

The guidelines pay heightened attention to mitigating risks of cardiovascular disease. There is also information for primary care providers to appropriately advise survivors, in collaboration with oncologists, to help them stay up-to-date on evolving screening recommendations.

NCCN recognizes that the population of cancer survivors is growing rapidly, due to both an increase in diagnoses, and improving care methods that keep more people alive for longer.

This is resulting in a greater need for research into long-term effects from traditional and emerging therapies, with the latter including immune checkpoint inhibitors and chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy (side-effects from both immunotherapy types are covered in recently-published NCCN Guidelines for Patients).

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