The current featured article in ANS is titled “Transition to Cancer Survivorship: A Concept Analysis” by Sylvia K. Wood, DNP, ANP-BC, AOCNP. This article is available for download at no cost while it is featured. The author explains that ” . . . it is when treatment ends when life as a new cancer survivor can fall apart. It is during this time of transition, a time of “in-between” having completed therapy, entering a new life in survivorship that both patients and providers are not well prepared” (p. 145). Dr. Wood provided this background about her work:
Throughout my nursing career, I have always been in awe of my patients. More than any one thing, patients have been my best teachers, witnessing their intimate struggles, their triumphs,
supporting them through living with and surviving cancer.
Research has come so far in changing our prognostic expectations as precision medicine and symptom science are guiding therapeutic approaches with improved response rates. However, knowing how to care for survivors after cancer treatment ends, a distinct phase in the continuum of care throughout the rest of one’s life is developing survivorship science.
There is a wealth of knowledge about the early effects of cancer treatment, yet much more needed for late effects. There is knowledge of survivorship needs for some cancer types but much less for others.
Due to the heterogeneity of cancer disease states, and the diverse populations it affects opens unchartered territory for further research in the personal, sociopolitical and cultural aspects of cancer survivorship to promote health and well-being.
Transition to survivorship is lexicon commonly describing a timeframe, although the richness of past research that can illuminate a holistic understanding of this concept is lost without definition. Weaving together diverse strands of prior research and knowledge uncovers the depth of meaning, context, and gives voice to the multidimensional and temporal nature of this concept.
I hope that interested researchers can use this concept analysis to build theory and new knowledge adding to the growth of survivorship science that will improve the care we give enriching the lives of cancer survivors.
“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” ~ Marcel Proust