ASCO and ESMO announce Consensus Statement on Quality Cancer Care

Atlanta, GA--The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO), two of the world's leading oncology societies, today released a joint Consensus Statement on Quality Cancer Care for patients across the globe. The 10-point statement outlines goals to provide access to and continuity of quality cancer care worldwide and will be published jointly in the Journal of Clinical Oncology (JCO) and the Annals of Oncology.

"Despite the growing advances in oncology treatment, there are still inequalities in health-care systems and access to optimal care," said ESMO President Håkan Mellstedt, MD, PhD. "Through this consensus statement, oncology health-care professionals have taken a step forward by identifying the basic components of access to quality care which are relevant to all cancer patients."

"ASCO and ESMO are dedicated to improving cancer care for the estimated 10 million people diagnosed with cancer worldwide each year," said ASCO President Sandra J. Horning, MD. "This collaboration is a direct result of our shared commitment to providing global communities with a set of criteria for evaluating quality cancer care."

The consensus statement highlights the following goals for a quality cancer care system:

  • Access to information: Patients should receive adequate information about their illness, including possible interventions, and the known benefits and risks of treatment options.
  • Privacy, confidentiality, and dignity: Patients should have the benefit of privacy with respect to their diagnosis and treatment, and should be treated with dignity at all times.
  • Access to medical records: Patients should be permitted to review and obtain copies of their medical records.
  • Prevention services: Patients should have access to information regarding the prevention of cancer and any evidence-based preventive interventions.
  • Non-discrimination: Access to health services should be provided without discrimination as to race, religion, gender, national origin, or disability.
  • Consent to treatment and choice: Patients should be empowered to participate in decision-making about their treatment and care.
  • Multidisciplinary cancer care: Optimal treatment of cancer should be provided by a multidisciplinary care team composed of medical, surgical, and radiation oncologists, as well as palliative care specialists, nurses, and social workers.
  • Innovative cancer care: Patients should have the opportunity to participate in relevant clinical trials and to access innovative cancer therapies.
  • Survivorship care planning: Cancer survivors should be provided with a comprehensive care summary and follow-up plan.
  • Pain management, supportive and palliative care: Patients should have access to pain management, including the use of opioid analgesics, and other supportive care options.

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An international working group composed of volunteers from both ASCO and ESMO developed the consensus statement.

For a copy of the consensus statement contact Carrie Housman at housmanc@asco.org, or Vanessa Pavinato at media@esmo.org.

ASCO is the world's leading professional organization representing physicians of all oncology subspecialties who care for people with cancer. ASCO's more than 20,000 members from the United States and abroad set the standard for patient care and lead the efforts to discover more effective cancer treatments, increase funding for clinical and translational research, and, ultimately, improve cancer care for the estimated 10 million people diagnosed with cancer worldwide each year. ASCO publishes the Journal of Clinical Oncology (JCO), the preeminent, peer-reviewed, medical journal on clinical cancer research, and produces People Living With Cancer (www.plwc.org), a comprehensive consumer website providing oncologist-vetted cancer information to help patients and families make informed health-care decisions.

ESMO is Europe's leading professional society providing education and clinical guidelines for medical oncologists and other healthcare professionals, working to ensure optimal care for cancer patients. With a worldwide membership base, ESMO is represented in every European country and the major geographical areas of the world. Since its inception in 1975, ESMO has consistently promoted its belief that every cancer patient is entitled to the best possible treatment available. The use of medicine is now a fundamental aspect of cancer therapy and, consequently, cancer patients need to be treated by qualified medical oncologists. ESMO supports multidisciplinary oncology and through its flagship scientific journal, Annals of Oncology, publishes research results on all aspects of clinical oncology. Donations to the ESMO Foundation help support ESMO activities as well as cancer research. More information on the Society and its activities can be found at www.esmo.org.


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