A study presented at an esteemed plenary session of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting and published in the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reported that advanced cancer patients who self-reported cancer- and treatment-related symptoms saw improved survival compared to patients who did not participate in the electronic reporting system.
Pancreatic cancer patients can document their diagnosis, treatment and symptoms through the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network’s global online database, the Patient Registry.
“Keeping track of symptoms experienced between doctor’s appointments can help current patients communicate with their medical teams and ensure that their side effects are managed,” said Cassadie Moravek, senior manager of clinical initiatives at the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. “And, the information gathered in our registry can benefit future patients by identifying trends and helping establish best practices for the field.”
One important note is that the study referenced above, conducted at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, allowed nurses to be automatically and immediately notified once a patient experienced severe or worsening symptoms. This is not a functionality of PanCAN’s Patient Registry.
“Patients and their caregivers should feel empowered to reach out to their healthcare teams as soon as they experience a new or worsened symptom or side effect,” added Moravek. “Evidence has shown that seeing healthcare professionals who focus on symptom management and supportive (palliative) care improves outcomes and is critical for patients’ quality of life.”
The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network strongly recommends that symptom management and supportive (palliative) care be provided early in a patient’s diagnosis as well as during and after treatment.
Documenting side effects and symptoms through our Patient Registry and sharing the entries with the patient’s healthcare team can allow access to medications and other interventions that can alleviate side effects, which could make patients feel better and live longer.
Contact a PanCAN Patient Services Case Manager to learn more about supportive (palliative) care and for more information about our Patient Registry and other resources available to pancreatic cancer patients.