30 March 2015

Individual follow-up to Danish cancer patients

Tailored follow-up programs will be implemented on June 1st for Danish cancer patients who have finished their treatment.


Tailored follow-up programs will be implemented on June 1st for Danish cancer patients who have finished their treatment. The Danish Cancer Society welcomes the initiative but emphasises the need to ensure that patients are treated safely and correct.
 
In the future, there will no longer be scheduled follow-up protocols for patients who have completed their treatment for cancer. In stead the follow-up will be tailored to the needs of the individual patient. The reason is a lack of scientific documentation showing that follow-up using fixed time intervals prolongs survival for cancer patients.
 
In the future, 19 new programs will be set in use to follow-up on the patients’ treatments. The first four programs cover breast- and gynaecological cancers, colorectal- and prostate cancer, and they will be initiated before June 1st. The rest will follow up until early 2016.
 
CEO at The Danish Cancer Society, Leif Vestergaard Pedersen, welcomes the initiative. 
 
– The sole concern for The Danish Cancer Society is, that patients receive safe and proper treatment. And I believe these criteria are being met, as the new program focuses on the needs of the patient and include the patients in the decision of where and when the follow-up should take place, says Leif Vestergaard Pedersen.
 
Wishes and needs of the patients are considered
For each patient, the follow-up will be designed based on an individual assessment of the needs of the patient. This is done by the health care professionel responsible for the patient in close collaboration with the patient, by assessing the patient’s individual needs and wishes.
 
The Danish Cancer Society emphasises, that the new programs need to be constantly monitored for each individual patient, developed and kept up to date, to meet the highest standards. 
 
– This is why we highly encourage more population based unbiased research into how to ensure that the best and most secure kind of follow-up will be offered in the future, says Leif Vestergaard Pedersen.
 
The 19 follow-up programs have been developed by 14 national task forces, with participation of several experts from the health care system and the hospital services.
 


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