2017-2021 Massachusetts Cancer Plan

A strategic plan to reduce the cancer burden in our state.

Table of Contents

Overview

The State Plan addresses all aspects of the cancer continuum, including prevention, early detection and screening, survivorship, treatment, palliation, and end-of-life care, as well as such cross-cutting issues as advocacy and community engagement, eliminating disparities, research, and surveillance. The Plan’s strategies are intended to direct collective efforts toward specific and measurable objectives that will reduce the cancer burden.

Primary prevention

Preventing cancer before it starts is essential to reducing the cancer burden in Massachusetts. Many distinct factors contribute to an increased cancer risk, from age and family history to lifestyle and environmental hazards.

The Plan is focused on changes that allow more people to benefit from healthier choices in their communities to help prevent or limit known cancer risks. Such interventions include encouraging healthy behaviors, reducing environmental exposures, and increasing vaccines for cancer-causing infectious disease.

Goal: To reduce the risk factors related to cancer by advancing policy, systems, and environmental change that support, promote, and enhance equity.

For the Goals, Objectives and Strategies of the Primary Prevention section please see page 31 in the 2017 – 2021 Comprehensive Cancer Prevention and Control Plan for Massachusetts.

Secondary prevention

Routine cancer screening and early detection can help find cancer at early stages when treatment is most effective. For some cancers, early detection can actually prevent cancer from developing, or from becoming invasive and spreading to other parts of the body. The Plan emphasizes evidence-based screening recommendations and shared decision- making to increase the appropriate cancer screenings, as well as focused attention on tracking and follow-up systems to reduce late-stage cervical cancer diagnosis among women.

Goal 1: Ensure the optimal implementation of evidence-based interventions for promoting appropriate cancer screening and shared decision making for all Massachusetts residents.

Goal 2: Ensure that all Massachusetts residents have equal access to the interventions that are effective in promoting cancer screening and to screening tests, especially groups with higher than average mortality and low screening rates.

For the Goals, Objectives and Strategies of the Secondary Prevention section please see page 47 in the 2017 – 2021 Comprehensive Cancer Prevention and Control Plan for Massachusetts.

Treatment: diagnosis through palliative care

Comprehensive, prompt, and accessible cancer treatment and care is essential to increasing survivorship and better health outcomes after diagnosis. The Plan prioritizes access to equitable treatment options for all residents and elevating awareness of the need for palliative care, especially expanded access to quality palliative care services.

Goal 1: Ensure equity in access to timely and high-quality treatment for all Massachusetts residents.

Goal 2: Ensure that all Massachusetts residents have access to palliative care upon diagnosis of cancer.

For the Goals, Objectives and Strategies of the Treatment:  Diagnosis through Palliative Care section please see page 57 in the 2017 – 2021 Comprehensive Cancer Prevention and Control Plan for Massachusetts.

Survivorship

A cancer survivor is anyone who has ever had cancer, from diagnosis through the rest of his or her life. More and more people are surviving cancer due to earlier detection and improvements in cancer treatment, diagnosis, and follow-up care.

According to the American Cancer Society there are more than 15 million cancer survivors in the United States. This number is projected to increase to almost 20 million by 2026, representing an increase of more than 4 million survivors in 10 years.

With over 400,000 cancer survivors living in the Commonwealth, the Plan aims to support and meet the needs of cancer survivors by focusing on health and wellness outcomes and promoting health system changes that produce comprehensive and equitable survivorship care through and beyond treatment.

Goal 1: Optimize the health outcomes, including medical and psychosocial, for all Massachusetts residents who are living with, through and beyond cancer.

Goal 2: Promote high quality, equitable and affordable systems of care for cancer survivors in Massachusetts.

For the Goals, Objectives and Strategies of the Survivorship section please see page 63 in the 2017 – 2021 Comprehensive Cancer Prevention and Control Plan for Massachusetts.

Download the full 2017-2021 Cancer Plan

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