Letter extract: Medical Journal of Australia, June 2021
Jeff Dunn, Bogda Koczwara, Suzanne Chambers
“A revision of the concept of cancer survivorship is needed, placing the survivor at the centre of a dynamic experience of life after a cancer diagnosis and opening up the survivorship experience to persons at any stage of cancer and at any phase of their disease trajectory.
Until now, clinical care guidelines and models of survivorship have typically not included consumer input, but rather have been developed principally through health professional expert consensus. In a novel approach from 2019–2020, a panel of 47 experts and consumers across Australia and New Zealand came together to define six key domains of survivorship care in a Prostate Cancer Survivorship Essentials Framework: health promotion and advocacy, shared management, vigilance, personal agency, care coordination, and evidence-based survivorship interventions.
These six domains reached high consensus as being essential, with the 26 elements within domains all rated as high importance. The degree of consensus in such a broad coalition is remarkable, underscoring the validity of the approach that reflects the lived experience driven by survivors’ preferences.
We believe the essentials framework is applicable to other adult cancer patient cohorts and presents an opportunity to move forward on cancer survivorship in Australia, taking forward a unique consumer–practitioner model where the survivor is not just the passive object of care but an actor in their own health and an empowered and supported agent of change.”