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Joan Such Lockhart, PhD, RN, AOCN®, FAAN, Professor & Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Duquesne University School of Nursing, discusses the growing number of cancer survivors and the need for continued care outside of an oncology setting.
The number of new cancer survivors is increasing rapidly, as a result of early diagnosis and new treatments. Moreover, cancer survivors are growing older, as the life expectancy following a diagnosis continues to increase. In addition, the comorbidities associated with obesity and an aging population are expected to significantly increase the number of new cancer cases in the US.
As the number of survivors increases, nurses with education or experience in oncology will be needed to address the unique needs of this population. This involves passing on knowledge and skills regarding the continuum of care from diagnosis to survivorship, both in pre-licensure and graduate nursing programs. Lockhart and colleagues have been researching existing oncology content and new strategies to successfully integrate oncology concepts into academic and clinical settings.