An online tool that provides cancer survivors and their families with an easy-to-follow ‘roadmap’ for managing their health has received an extremely positive response from users, say US researchers.
Known as OncoLife, the first online cancer survivorship care plan tool has been developed by doctors and nurses at the University of Pennsylvania’s Penn Abramson Cancer Centre.
By inputting information on chemotherapy, radiation and surgical procedures, patients, their families and clinicians can use the tool to create an easy-to-understand, personalised survivorship plan.
The plan can also cover issues such as the side effects of treatment, and guidance on sexuality, fertility and genetic risk
University of Pennsylvania researchers studied more than 3,000 cancer patients who used the tool to create cancer survivorship care plans over 18 months in 2007 and 2008.
They found that 97% of those who used the tool rated their experience as ‘good’ or ‘excellent’, and 84% said they planned to share the plan with their health care team.
James Metz, associate professor of radiation oncology at the University of Pennsylvania, said: ‘Because this tool is internet based, cancer survivors and healthcare providers now have an easy and reliable way to obtain information regarding survivorship care issues instantaneously.’
OncoLink nurse educator, Carolyn Vachani, added: ‘Putting survivorship care plans in the hands of patients allows them to become educated about their risk, have well-informed discussions with their healthcare teams and be advocates for their own care.’