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Cancer Survivors: New Clinical Practice Guidelines Issued 2013

According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), there are more than 12 million American cancer survivors. Recognizing and managing the health care needs of these survivors has become a significant responsibility of oncologists and primary care providers.

An individual is considered a cancer survivor from the time of diagnosis, through the balance of his or her life. The NCCN Guidelines for Survivorship focus on the vast and persistent impact both the diagnosis and treatment of cancer have on the adult survivor particularly after they have completed their initial cancer treatment.

The NCCN Guidelines for Survivorship cover eight distinct areas: anxiety and depression, cognitive function, exercise, fatigue, immunizations and infections, pain, sexual function, and sleep disorders. For accurate assessment of cognitive function, the NCCN Guidelines for Survivorship recommend obtaining a complete, focused history and consideration of contributing factors, such as medication side effects, hormonal interaction, and distress. These evaluations can lead to important interventions for survivor and/or family education.  The NCCN Guidelines are developed and updated through an evidence-based process in which the expert panels integrate comprehensive clinical and scientific data with the judgment of the multidisciplinary panel members and other experts drawn from NCCN Member Institutions.