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Head and neck cancer survivorship care in the United States: existing programs and future directions

Gallagher, James (2019) Head and neck cancer survivorship care in the United States: existing programs and future directions. Master Essay, University of Pittsburgh.

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Cancer survivorship begins at the time of a cancer diagnosis launching an extremely complex journey of acute therapies, treatment-related toxicities and financial hardship. Currently, the United States has no formalized system to aid patients as they transition from active treatment to long-term recovery. This fragmented system forces patients to navigate a confusing array of survivorship programs, if one is even available in their community, making cancer survivorship of great public health significance. Head and neck cancer patients have unique treatment-related toxicities that can be challenging for primary care providers to address on their own. There must be a new focus on care that responds to the changing needs of the head and neck cancer population. This paper reviews cancer survivorship programs across the country and highlights the experience of the UPMC Head and Neck Cancer Survivorship Clinic. There are some early changes in the payment structures of health insurance programs, including Medicare and Medicaid, that are opening the path forward for increased access to new forms of survivorship care, but more progress is needed. Health policy changes mirrored after chronic care management may incentivize providers to offer the coordinated-care these patients desperately need. Further study is required to truly understand the clinical and financial benefits of a robust head and neck cancer survivorship program.


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Item Type: Other Thesis, Dissertation, or Long Paper (Master Essay)
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Gallagher, Jamesjwg42@pitt.edujwg42
ContributionContributors NameEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairRoberts, Markmroberts@pitt.edumrobertsUNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberNilsen, Marcimlf981@pitt.edumlf981UNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberHarrison, Edwardharrisonei@UPMC.eduEIH9UNSPECIFIED
Date: 17 April 2019
Date Type: Submission
Number of Pages: 39
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Health Policy & Management
Degree: MHA - Master of Health Administration
Thesis Type: Master Essay
Refereed: Yes
Date Deposited: 05 Oct 2019 00:42
Last Modified: 05 Oct 2019 00:42


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