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Annual Report 2017

Division of Cancer Information Service (DCIS)

Tomoko Takayama, Masayo Hayakawa, Chikako Yamaki, Ayako Ishikawa, Akiko Urakubo, Otome Kinoshita, Yuki Nakatani, Tomoko Takahashi, Yoshimi Sasaki, Tomoko Ono, Masayo Sakurai, Eimi Sawai, Kumiko Shiga, Yuko Ogo, Ayumi Kishimoto, Yukako Urata, Harue Suzuki, Satoshi Takisawa, Mizuho Maruyama, Mina Nakajima, Kaori Shioda, Jun Nakamachi

Lines of Service

 We have continued to enhance and update "Ganjoho.jp", the nation's trusted source of cancer information with 1,449 new pages (18,731 pages as of the end of CY2017), and annual usage is now at 35.3million PV. Our library of patient education publications has added two new titles, and 11 of the existing 64 titles in circulation have now been updated. Contents by cancer type, regional cancer information resources have also been updated extensively. All of our patient education publications, in either booklet or pamphlet formats, are available for free download online and hard copies are disseminated via a bulk order printing scheme, which has made it more cost effective for cancer care facilities and related healthcare providers of all sizes.

 The Division of Cancer Information Service (DCIS) continues to act as a hub that brings together the over 2,000 specialists that run the 427 Cancer Information & Support Centers (CISCs) deployed nationwide, with a bi-annual conference for prefectural CISC leadership, where we seek to allow the practitioners to share the latest set of best practices. The CISC leadership working group was also instrumental in surveying the key issues facing the CISCs nationwide, and formulating recommendations for the Third Cancer Control Plan as well as the National guidelines for designated cancer care hospitals - from the CISC perspective.

Research activities

 As part of our multi-year effort to devise a more sustainable model for operating a national Cancer Information Services (as well as the CISC network), research programs are on-going in the following areas: 1) Strategic review of the information portfolio to better define core/non-core domains, ways to further standardize both the content structure and the editorial processes, and opportunities and processes to better leverage other stakeholders (e.g. cancer academic societies and support groups) in collaborative production and load sharing, 2) Developing viable assessment scales for CISC activities, 3) Developing CISC support tools that enhance their ability to seek out reliable information in a shorter time span.

Nurturing Professionals

 The specialists of cancer counselors that staff the nationwide network of CISCs undergo both online training (e-learning curriculums delivered via a site we operate) and on-site group training sessions. We had 36 lectures, three new and eight updated lectures for FY2017.

 A newly introduced certification scheme has now made it possible for cancer counselors in hospitals outside the fold of the MHW-Designation (nationally orchestrated regional cancer center designation) schemes to undergo the same set of fundamental training, and to receive certifications. This potentially opens an avenue for cancer information counselors to be deployed at upwards of 300 prefecture designated cancer care hospitals, above and beyond and 440 nationally designated locations. In this scheme, 119 certified cancer counselors and six certified CISCs were born in 2017, and total of 462 and 23 respectively.

 The DCIS has spearheaded efforts to encourage regional networking of CISC professionals, so that a more frequent and more pertinent mix of skill enhancing opportunities are made available to a broader set of professionals in this still nascent field. The regional CISC training forums, now in its seventh year, take place in more than six regions annually, and in over half the cases, they have become regionally self-sustaining, with an agreed upon model to jointly manage annual programs with rotating venues.

 Our media education initiatives are now in its 10th year, with three theme conferences held during 2017.

 We have also added public libraries to our dissemination channel with the donation-funded initiative "Cancer information gifts" - not only providing cancer information booklets and leaflets but also ensuring that reference librarians can put their users in touch with the local CISCs when and where this is deemed desirable. As of the end of FY2017, 43 public libraries throughout the nation have joined this network, and our networking venues, that bring interested librarians and CISC counselors together in half-day forums, have now taken place in five regions throughout the nation.

Future prospects

 While the DCIS remains committed to our stated aims of bringing more accurate and reliable information to patients, families, caregivers, as well as healthcare practitioners in a context-

sensitive manner, we are constantly challenged by the need to keep abreast of the rapid proliferation of new information in all related fields from treatment through to survivorship, while running a tight ship within the constraints of a publicly funded agency. In light of the challenge, we endeavor to incrementally evolve both our production model, as well as the CISC framework, to better leverage the capabilities of various extramural partners, to arrive at a more sustainable set of processes and services.