One of the great achievements of medicine is the improvement in survival of people with cancer. But people diagnosed with cancer want to be able to make choices, receive personalised and co-ordinated care and have more control over what happens to them – they want to live as ‘normal’ a life as possible – to ‘thrive’. One of our strategy partners in Australia went through the frightening experience of being diagnosed and treated for cancer, finding it extremely debilitating. As he says:
“We need to let go of the word ‘survivor’. If that’s a value proposition then it’s a lousy one because not everyone will survive cancer. But you can still have a good quality of life and be enabled to continue doing the things that you enjoy. Things that enable you to flourish. Things that enable you to thrive. We need a change in mind-set”.
Influenced by Justin McLean's experience, we asked patients, caregivers and clinicians in Australia, the UK and US, what is important to them. Based on our research, this paper looks at how health systems should re-focus and help people thrive through their cancer experience, ie to:
With global communications, digital reach and the plethora of new entrants entering the marketplace, this is the right time for health systems and organisations to look at how to change the paradigm of cancer care. By doing this not only will it help improve the holistic cancer experience a person goes through - from surviving to thriving – but would benefit economies and businesses as a whole.