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“Cancer has given me a new perspective on life. I have learned what is important to me which is my family and children. I appreciate my health and body a lot more than before, especially that I am able to run, bike and spend time outdoors.”

– Nancy Limburg, Breast Cancer Survivor

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Survivorship and Quality of Life Targets for Change

Cancer survivorship begins at diagnosis and extends through the rest of the person’s life. Cancer survivorship can also include caregivers and support systems around the individual diagnosed. It is estimated that 81,260 cancer survivors reside within the state of Utah. As screenings become more efficient and treatments become more effective, it is expected that more people will enter remission for their cancer or live longer with their diagnosis.

Increase the proportion of cancer survivors reporting “Excellent”, “Very Good”, or “Good” physical health.
Current data: TBD
79.1%Baseline
(2010 BRFSS)
83%Utah 2020 Target
Data Source: BRFSS
Decrease the proportion of cancer patients and survivors who report no physical activity or exercise in the past month.
Current data: 31.1%
79.1%Baseline
(2010 BRFSS)
83%Utah 2020 Target
Data Source: BRFSS
Decrease the proportion of cancer patients and survivors who are current smokers.
Current data: 17.8%
66% of Goal
19.4%Baseline
age-adjusted
(2014 BRFSS)
17%Utah 2020 Target
Data Source: BRFSS

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Survivorship and Quality of Life Goals, Strategies, and Action Steps

Goal: Ensure that the needs of cancer survivors and their caregivers are met throughout the continuum of care.


Who is addressing this strategy?
There are currently no projects in progress.
Action Steps:

  • Conduct a comprehensive needs assessment to determine the unique needs of cancer survivors and their caregivers in Utah.
  • Conduct a comprehensive review of survivorship programs nationwide to determine best practices for developing survivorship programs in Utah.
  • Create and adopt methods or programs for connecting cancer survivors and caregivers to resources tailored to their needs, including health disparities.
  • Administer the BRFSS Cancer Survivorship Module every two years to identify survivor and caregiver needs.


Who is addressing this strategy?
There are currently no projects in progress.
Action Steps:

  • Provide education to cancer survivors about support programs and policies designed to assist them in adopting healthy lifestyle habits, such as healthy eating, regular physical activity, stress management, and being tobacco free, in order to improve overall health and quality of life.
  • Provide education to healthcare providers related to physical, mental, and emotional needs of cancer survivors.
  • Offer training to healthcare providers to better understand factors that lead to disparities such as education, poverty, race/ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and rural/frontier residence.
  • Provide education to cancer survivors and caregivers about financial assistance available for treatment and quality of life services.
National Strategy Alignment: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2004). A National Action Plan for Cancer Survivorship: Advancing Public Health Strategies. Atlanta, GA


Who is addressing this strategy?
There are currently no projects in progress.
Action Steps:

  • Encourage healthcare providers to inform patients of opportunities related to enrollment in clinical trials.
  • Support partners in developing specific patient navigation programs addressing the needs of disparate populations including adolescent and young adult survivors, rural and frontier populations, racial and ethnic minorities, LGBTQ individuals, etc.
  • Advocate for improved policies and programs designed to increase the number of patients that have access to pain management and palliative care.
  • Partner with healthcare systems to meet Commission on Cancer Standard 3.3[1] in order to ensure that all eligible patients receive survivorship care plans by 2020.
  • Work with healthcare systems to identify gaps in the healthcare workforce and develop strategies to address the growing demand for survivorship care.
  • Link cancer survivors to patient navigation or community health worker programs.
  • Partner with worksites to establish policies allowing for paid time off for cancer treatment, post-treatment, and rehabilitative services.
National Strategy Alignment: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2004). A National Action Plan for Cancer Survivorship: Advancing Public Health Strategies. Atlanta, GA



Policy, Systems, and Environmental (PSE) Change Approaches for Cancer Survivorship and Quality of Life

Setting Non-PSE Approach PSE Approach
Healthcare Organizations Provide patients contact information for survivorship support groups. Routinely provide a comprehensive post-treatment plan and refer to specific support groups, patient navigators, and resources in their local community.
Workplace Host an annual event for cancer survivors or provide information about local survivor retreats. Develop workplace policies specifically to accommodate the needs of cancer survivors, including additional paid leave for follow-up care.

Additional Resources: