Kimmel Cancer Center Hosts Survivorship Conference
Cancer survivorship is on the rise, say the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Cancer Institute, which report that 64 percent of adults diagnosed with cancer today can expect to be alive in five years. The American Cancer Society says there are now more than 13.7 million cancer survivors in the United States, with the number expected to grow to nearly 18 million by 2022.
The Kimmel Cancer Center (KCC) at Jefferson will host a survivorship conference, “Cancer Survivorship: The Future Is Now” on Friday, April 12th from 12 to 2 PM. The conference will feature a keynote speech from Mary S. McCabe, RN, MA, director of the Cancer Survivorship Program at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) as well as breakout sessions on “Nutritional Information to Support Your Survivorship,” “Women’s Sexuality: Reclaiming your Sexual Self” and “The Sex Factor: Men and Sex After Cancer” to address men’s and women’s sexuality after a cancer diagnosis.
Cancer survivorship is living with, through and beyond cancer — from diagnosis to treatment to life after treatment ends. Recovery, as many survivors discover, is not always the end of the cancer experience. Some patients experience long-term remission while others, several years after successful treatment, can experience a recurrence. Toxic cancer therapies can leave health issues that require lifelong surveillance and recovering from the social and emotional trauma of cancer can take longer than treatment.
An oncology nurse, Ms. McCabe is responsible for developing and implementing center-wide comprehensive programs for cancer survivors at the renowned Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. She arrived in 2003 and since that time has helmed the program that includes follow-up care, research, education and training. MSKCC leadership was one of the first in the nation to recognize the importance of a survivorship program for adult-onset cancers.
“I have been given a unique opportunity to be able to be involved in the totality of oncology care, able to think not only about how people live their lives after cancer treatment but how well they live, regardless of the length of life,” McCabe told the MSKCC magazine in 2011.
Her program addresses the medical, psychological and informational components that patients need for optimal survivorship. She has also developed a research agenda that includes survivorship. The MSKCC program has become a national model for providing nurse practitioner-led support in monitoring for cancer recurrence, health promotion such as diet, exercise, smoking cessation, and communication with patients’ primary care physician. In addition, MSKCC offers clinics for survivors of bone marrow transplants, breast, colorectal, thyroid, thoracic and urologic cancers.
She will share her vast experience with an audience of Jefferson patients, physicians and staff members as part of the Kimmel Cancer Center’s Patient Education Series.
Following McCabe’s talk, Monica Crawford, MA, RD, LDN, a licensed dietician and nutritionist on staff at the Kimmel Cancer Center staff will lead a breakout session on cancer nutrition; Susan Kellogg-Spadt, PhD, CRNP, director of Sexual Medicine at the Pelvic and Sexual Health Institute of Philadelphia will lead a session on women’s sexuality after cancer; and Thomas N. Wood, PhD, LCSW of the Philadelphia Institute for Individual, Relational and Sex Therapy will lead a session on men’s sexuality after cancer.
“Our patient education series is key to the comprehensive care our Center provides,” says Gregory Garber, KCC social work supervisor and program organizer. “We seek to start the conversation on the myriad of issues our patients may face in their survivorship journey,” he adds.
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