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  • Author: Andrea J. Dwyer x
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Sharyn F. Worrall, Andrea J. Dwyer, Reese M. Garcia, Keavy E. McAbee and Anjelica Q. Davis

Background: Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most common cancer among men and women in the United States. Patients and survivors experience a range of challenges, including anxiety, financial issues, long-term adverse effects, and more. The intent of this project was to assess the needs of the CRC community directly from survivors and their caregivers and to lay a foundation for ongoing support. Methods: Twelve nominal group technique sessions were facilitated. Participants were randomized and presented with the following questions: “What information do you wish you had at the time of diagnosis?” and “What information do you need now as a survivor?” After the nominal group technique process, each statement’s score was divided by the number of people in the session, providing the average to identify the top-ranked statements. Themes and subthemes were applied to statements. Results were compared between coders. Results: There was a total of 79 participants, 49 of whom self-identified as a patient with or survivor of cancer. Patient/survivor demographics were as follows: stage IV disease (n=20), stage III disease (n=22), stage II disease (n=5), stage I disease (n=2), caregiver/family member (n=30), male (n=16), female (n=63), White (n=50), Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (n=1), Hispanic/Latino (n=13), Black/African American (n=11), Asian (n=1), and more than one race/ethnicity (n=3). The most frequent themes among responses to the first question were communication and coordination with care team and access to CRC resources. The most frequent themes among responses to the second question were psychosocial support and family/caregiver support. Frequent themes among responses across both questions were understanding treatment options and adverse effects. Conclusions: These findings highlight gaps in support for individuals affected by CRC, and lay a foundation for ongoing assistance. Future studies exploring differences based on disease stage, race/ethnicity, age, gender identity, geographic location, and tumor location are needed to further tailor support for those experiencing CRC. Themes identified in this project require a multidisciplinary approach to ensure that the unmet needs of survivors are addressed.

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James McCanney, Katy Winckworth-Prejsnar, Alyssa A. Schatz, Elizabeth A. Nardi, Andrea J. Dwyer, Christopher Lieu, Yelak Biru and Robert W. Carlson

As a disease, cancer can affect an individual's well-being, from physical to psychological, social, and even spiritual wellness. The cancer survivor population must navigate a complex, constantly evolving field, with the assistance of their care team, to conquer the disease. To address the unmet needs of the cancer survivorship community, NCCN conducted an environmental scan of existing and emerging aspects of survivorship cancer care through stakeholder meetings with survivors and patient advocacy groups to discuss needs, opportunities, and challenges in providing high-quality, patient-centered cancer survivorship care. The findings of this environmental scan directly informed the corresponding NCCN Patient Advocacy Summit: Addressing Survivorship in Cancer Care, held in Washington, DC, on December 1, 2017. In addition to the many patient advocacy groups, the summit featured stakeholders from all relevant areas of survivorship care. This article encapsulates the findings of the thorough environmental scan and the discussion from the NCCN Patient Advocacy Summit, including identified gaps and needs in addressing survivorship in cancer care.