Division of Cancer Survivorship Research
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Annual Report 2015

Division of Cancer Survivorship Research



Miyako Takahashi, Miyako Tsuchiya, Makiko Tomita, Makiko Tazaki, Kyoko Onozawa, Kayoko Horikawa

Introduction

The Division of Cancer Survivorship Research was established in April 2013. Our mission is to enhance the quality of life of people with cancer and their caregivers, and to promote social awareness in Japan about cancer survivorship issues.

Routine activities

As for academic research, we mainly deal with various psychosocial issues experienced by cancer survivors and their caregivers during and after treatment such as employment, interpersonal relationships, sexuality and fertility, prejudice against cancer, life-style modifications, and unmet needs. In particular, we examine the influence of the Japanese socio-cultural background on living with, through, and beyond cancer, and try to propose countermeasures based on the research findings.
As for activities to promote social awareness toward cancer survivorship, we plan and implement educational programs listed in the education section for the general public as well as healthcare providers.
In addition to the above-mentioned activities, Dr. Miyako Takahashi, Division Chief, served as a member of the “Coexistence of Treatment and Work” council organized by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, and contributed in creating guidelines for business people.

Research activities

The research projects we conducted in 2015 include “cancer and work”, “psychosocial impact of appearance change among male cancer survivors”, “pediatric cancer survivors' sexual development”, “father-child communication when mother has cancer”, “the effect of providing written, personalized information”, and so on.
As for research on cancer and work, we revealed that about 40% of patients who stopped working decided to do so before initial treatment began, and that information and support needs among patients change across the passage of time since diagnosis. Also, we developed an intervention program for business people to promote their awareness in supporting employees with cancer.
This year, we conducted six keynote lectures, seven symposium presentations, and eight oral presentations in academic meetings. Also, we published three articles in English, six articles, and four chapters in a co-authored book in Japanese.

Education

As for education for healthcare providers and citizens in 2015, we delivered 22 lectures in answer to requests from universities, academic organizations, national and local governments, and medical institutions nationwide.
As for promoting social awareness of cancer survivorship, we planned and implemented three lecture series, “Community Center Café”, “Gotochi (Local) Café”, and “Cancer Survivorship Open Seminar”, which were open to the public. These café and seminar programs were held in a relaxed atmosphere with refreshments, and consisted of a lecture that takes up various cancer survivorship topics followed by a small group discussion by participants. It provided participants with an opportunity to learn about cancer survivorship issues as well as exchange views with each other. In 2015, we held The Community Center Café 2 times with 100 participants in total in the Tsukishima Community Center in Chuo Ward, where the National Cancer Center is located. The Gotochi (Local) Café, the other café program, has the same structure as the Community Center Café, but was co-sponsored by our division and healthcare providers in prefectures outside of Tokyo, and focused on high-priority survivorship issues within the local community. In 2015, we held the Gotochi Café twice in Kanazawa and Nagoya, and 100 people participated. The “Cancer Survivorship Open Seminar”, held in the National Cancer Center Tsukiji campus, was newly started in 2015. It is a lecture series by researchers and focuses more on academic aspects of survivorship research. In 2015, we held the seminar three times on “dental-medical collaboration”, “employment issues after cancer”, and “cancer information”. About 300 people participated.

Future prospects

Cancer survivorship research and care practice is indispensable in creating a society in which we can live in peace after having cancer. Our Division will conduct research on various cancer survivorship issues and propose countermeasures for them. As the center of information dispatch and the personnel exchange of survivorship research and care in Japan, we plan to develop activities in cooperation with domestic and international researchers and practitioners.

List of papers published in 2015
Journal
  •  1. Miyashita M, Ohno S, Kataoka A, Tokunaga E, Masuda N, Shien T, Kawabata K, Takahashi M. Unmet Information Needs and Quality of Life in Young Breast Cancer Survivors in Japan. Cancer Nurs, 38:E1-E11, 2015
  •  2. Okada H, Maru M, Maeda R, Iwasaki F, Nagasawa M, Takahashi M. Impact of childhood cancer on maternal employment in Japan. Cancer Nurs, 38:23-30, 2015