Essential Elements Brief

There are approximately 12 million cancer survivors alive in the United States today, and that number is expected to grow to more than 18 million by 2020 (Mariotto, Yabroff, Shao, Feuer, & Brown, 2011). As a result of innovative research, improved detection, access to care and treatment, and a focus on life after treatment ends, more people are surviving cancer than ever before. However, it has become clear that when primary treatment ends, the cancer journey does not (Institute of Medicine and National Research Council of the National Academies, 2006). After treatment, many cancer survivors experience physical, emotional, and practical concerns but they do not always receive the help they need (Rechis, Reynolds, Beckjord, & Nutt, 2010).

With the increase in survivors over the past decade, post-treatment survivorship care has emerged as a new and evolving area of clinical practice and research (Jacobs et al., 2009). A challenge for the cancer survivorship community is how to best design and deliver high-quality survivorship care. Currently, there is little or no consensus on what survivorship providers must include, should include, or should strive to include in their approach to care. As the cancer survivor population continues to grow, building consensus is critical to preparing the cancer community to effectively respond to the challenges encountered by cancer survivors in the post-treatment period.

On September 15th and 16th, 2011, LIVESTRONG convened the Essential Elements of Survivorship Care Meeting in Washington, DC. The goal of this meeting was to build consensus among key stakeholders on the essential elements of survivorship care that any effective cancer survivorship provider must provide (directly or via referral) to post-treatment cancer survivors. It is important to note that the goal of the meeting was not to identify specific guidelines or standards for delivering care (e.g., surveillance for recurrence conducted at particular time points).

The Essential Elements of Survivorship Care: A LIVESTRONG Brief includes an overview of the meeting, outcomes of the meeting, and recommendations for next steps on how we can best incorporate survivorship care into practice.

Read the Essential Elements Brief

UPDATE November 2012

Acting upon recommendations made at the Essential Elements of Survivorship Care Meeting in September 2011, the LIVESTRONG Foundation and the LIVESTRONG Survivorship Center of Excellence Network have spent the last year refining the definitions of the 20 Essential Elements. The refined definitions include specific recommendations and examples of basic and enriched levels of survivorship care and should provide a concrete roadmap for stakeholders toward the implementation of the Essential Elements in real world practice.

Step 1:
Read and download the LIVESTRONG Essential Elements of Survivorship Care: Definitions and Recommendations.

Step 2:
Take the survey.

Thank you for helping the continued evolution of this project. For further information, write us at

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Essential Elements

Supplemental Documents

101 Universe of Elements

A list of all the possible elements of survivorship care.

View the pdf

45 Universe of Elements

A condensed list of the elements of survivorship care used by meeting attendees in consensus-building exercises.

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Meeting Agenda

The Essential Elemetns of Survivorship Care Meeting Agenda.

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Meeting Leaders

Meeting Leaders' Biographies

View the biographies