With the increase in scientific knowledge and understanding of cancer, more and more Texans are living with, through and beyond cancer. In 2003, approximately 10.5 million Americans alive had been diagnosed with cancer, with an estimated 750,000 in Texas alone. These individuals are considered cancer survivors, identified by the National Cancer Institute, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Cancer Society as those who have been diagnosed with cancer and the people in their lives who are affected by the diagnosis.
Although survivors confront many complex issues, these survivorship concerns generally fall into five major categories – physical, psychological, social, spiritual, and economic. With survival rates of many cancers increasing, particularly the four most common cancers, prostate, lung, breast, colorectal, more research funding and support structures have been directed toward the evaluation and improvement of post-treatment care and support for this growing segment of the population.
The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas highlighted the importance of this growing trend by including survivorship as one of its five goals. To meet the demands of survivorship in Texas, the Texas Cancer Plan details the following objectives:
Objective A – Increase knowledge of survivorship issues for the general public, cancer survivors, health care professionals, and policymakers.
Objective B – Increase the availability of effective programs and policies addressing cancer survivorship.
Objective C – Increase access to quality care and services for cancer survivors in Texas.
Texas Cancer Information is providing the following information toward the objective of increasing Texans' knowledge of survivorship issues and resources:
Texas Cancer Information collects and provides referral information on support, counseling, education, and additional assistance such as transportation, housing, and medical equipment. The information listed for each resource in the Local/Community Resources database is based on its responses to the annual Community Resource Database Update survey. Original listings were derived from the Community Resource Directory previously maintained by the National Cancer Society's Cancer Information Service (CIS) serving Texas. Included in the database are general information, services provided, and Texas counties served. To locate survivorship resources in the database, select Cancer Survivor Services from the Community Resource Category drop-down list.
The texascancersurvivor.info Web portal contains links to Web sites and publications that have been reviewed for quality using predetermined criteria and are organized by survivorship topic and cancer type. These links include Web sites based in Texas as well as those found across the country.
Links were reviewed by the Goal V Subcommittee of the Texas Comprehensive Cancer Control Coalition for survivorship content and categorized into over thirty emotional, physical and practical/economic topics, such as finding support, pain management and insurance.
The Cancer Alliance of Texas engages organizations, agencies, institutions and individuals to work collaboratively to reduce the impact of cancer in Texas and promote the Texas Cancer Plan. As part of this mission, the Cancer Alliance of Texas offers a Post-Treatment Survivorship Resource Guide. This guide lists survivorship resources for those who have completed their cancer treatment as well as their friends and loved ones. The services and information in the guide focus on the special needs of someone who has completed cancer treatment and is managing treatment’s late- and long-term effects, whether physical, financial, legal or emotional.