We are in an unprecedented time when five-year cancer survival rates for some cancers now exceed 50% in many countries. This is great news for the cancer community, but we face new challenges to support the growing number of patients who are managing cancer as a chronic condition.
On World Cancer Day, which is observed each year on February 4, we were reminded to heed the call of the Union for International Cancer Control to examine the part we play, collectively or individually, in reducing the global burden of cancer. At Bristol-Myers Squibb, in addition to our efforts to research and develop innovative treatments, we are asking an important question: What new challenges does the world of cancer survivorship bring to the cancer community?
There are no simple answers. The issues the cancer community faces are systemic and require us to consider many perspectives. But we have reached one important conclusion that we believe is vital for success: We must work to ensure the integration of care — from the physicians working to facilitate information sharing across patients’ provider networks to the policy makers who must continually evolve or create broad-reaching social and health service programs.
To explore this idea further, Bristol-Myers Squibb commissioned The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) to conduct research from the perspective of patients, healthcare practitioners, employers and policy makers. One aspect examines the impact of cancer survival and strategies for providing integrated care. It also investigates current approaches and additional measures companies around the world must act on to strengthen workplace support for those affected by cancer. Read more about the research findings here.
Global advocacy organizations are at the forefront of understanding and representing the needs of cancer survivors and play a key role in driving better outcomes for the cancer community. We recently hosted a webinar with global oncology advocacy groups to discuss the changing cancer landscape and to help advance the understanding of patients’ experiences. Supported by the EIU findings, panelists looked at how integrated care can improve quality-of-survival for patients and their families.
To hear the full discussion, listen to a replay of the webinar here.