ASCO Updates Its Templates for Disease-Specific Survivorship Care Plans

ASCO has updated and expanded its set of treatment and survivorship care plan (SCP) templates for oncology professionals and patients with cancer.

The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) is working to make it easier for oncology professionals to provide quality survivorship information to their patients.

ASCO has updated and expanded its set of treatment and survivorship care plan (SCP) templates for oncology professionals and patients with cancer. The new release includes updated versions of the disease-specific SCP for breast, colorectal, small cell, and non—small cell lung cancers, and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, as well as a new prostate cancer SCP template. ASCO noted that these six disease-specific survivorship care plan templates cover more than 50% of all cancer diagnoses.

In the same rollout, ASCO released an updated version of its treatment plan template, which is intended to be given at the time of diagnosis and sets the stage for the development of the treatment summary and follow-up care plan included in an SCP.

“We're very pleased to be able to offer such a complete set of survivorship care tools," said Deborah K. Mayer, PhD, RN, AOCN, FAAN, chair of the ASCO Survivorship Care Plan Working Group. Mayer is a professor in the School of Nursing at the University of North Carolina and serves as director of Cancer Survivorship at UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.

“As the numbers of cancer patients and survivors grow, keeping detailed treatment records is becoming a critical component of overall cancer care. These templates will have value to patients and providers alike."

The templates serve to enhance ASCO's existing suite of tools to help providers and patients fully plan a course of cancer treatment from diagnosis to survivorship care. They were developed in 2014 following on the organization’s expert statement on cancer survivorship care planning," published in the Journal of Oncology Practice.1

This 2014 ASCO statement identified the essential components of an SCP, as defined through a multidisciplinary consensus process, and has been endorsed by the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons.

The four main goals of the SCPs are: to prevent recurrence and new cancers and of other late effects; to monitor cancer spread, recurrence, second cancers, and medical and psychosocial late effects; to provide intervention for consequences of cancer and its treatment experienced by cancer survivors and their caregivers; and concerns related to employment, insurance, and disability, and coordination between specialist and primary care providers to ensure that all of the survivor’s health needs are met.

Often there are barriers to implementing SCPs. These barriers include the substantial time required to complete an SCP, inadequate reimbursement for the time and resources required to complete the SCP, the challenges in coordinating care among providers and between providers and survivors, and incomplete penetration of electronic health records in the marketplace that can facilitate SCP completion.1

“As we know, living with cancer takes guts and that’s if everything goes well,” Mayer noted in a recent presentation on the topic at the 2015 ONS Annual Congress. “I think we can do better to make it a little bit easier for people to deal with what they’re facing, and not make it worse by the way that we communicate or don’t coordinate care. We really need to think of survivorship along the continuum from the time of diagnosis on.”

The templates are available now as part of ASCO's Cancer Survivorship Compendium.

1. Mayer DK, Nekhlyudov L, Snyder CF, et al. American Society of Clinical Oncology clinical expert statement on cancer survivorship care planning. J Oncol Pract. 2014;10(6):345-351.