Living with and beyond cancer

Having cancer does not mean you are just a set of symptoms to be treated. And it can happen to anyone, at any time, regardless of their age, gender, background, or circumstance. Cancer does not discriminate.

Everyone who gets cancer is different. And the care and support they will need to live with a cancer diagnosis in a way that makes sense for their own life, particularly after treatment has finished, will be different.

Thanks to our ever-improving survival rates, more and more people are surviving for longer with or beyond cancer. We are committed to making sure that everybody receives the personalised care and support they need, when they need it, to live a happy and healthy life beyond a diagnosis of cancer.

Our priorities for 2016/2017 are:

  • By March 2017, we will agree an approach for collecting data on long-term quality of life for cancer patients, including assessing the role of Patient Reported Outcome Measures. We will test the approach during 2017 for roll out of a national metric from 2018.
  • By March 2017, though Cancer Alliances, we will drive the spread of risk-stratified follow-up pathways, including supported self-management for breast cancer, and assess the role of commissioning incentives to encourage implementation. In subsequent years we will focus energy on rolling out this approach to other cancer types.
  • NHS England and partners will review good practice in approaches to reducing and managing long term consequences of treatment to produce improved guidance to the system to encourage spread and adoption of cost effective practice.
  • In 2017/18, we will also pilot the use of the Holistic Needs Assessment as a means of better managing the transition between phases of the patient pathway, including ensuring timely access to palliative care.

For more details, please see Achieving World Class Cancer Outcomes: Taking the strategy forward.