The award-winning Cancer Survival Toolbox® is a free, self-learning audio program that has been developed by leading cancer organizations to help people develop important skills to better meet and understand the challenges of their illness. The program contains a set of basic skills to help navigate a diagnosis and special topics on key issues faced by people with cancer. It is given to newly diagnosed patients as well as those transitioning off treatment, used by patient navigators, offered in patient resource libraries, provided at survivorship programs and conferences, and listened to in a support group setting.
Produced through a unique collaboration between the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship (NCCS), the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS), the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), with a grant from Genentech, Inc., the Cancer Survival Toolbox encourages people with cancer and their caregivers to take a more active role in their treatment and care. The audio program can be listened to on the internet as well as downloaded for future use. The Toolbox is available in English and Spanish.
The Toolbox development team employed the assistance of more than a dozen review organizations to ensure the relevance and utility of the content of the initial Cancer Survival Toolbox. Some of these review organizations include the Intercultural Cancer Council, The R.A. Bloch Cancer Foundation, the Lymphoma Research Foundation of America, the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition and the Children’s Brain Tumor Foundation. As new modules are added, additional stakeholders are asked to provide input. Currently, there are seven development team members representing the four organizations, and the program receives funding from multiple sources.
To determine the need for the self-advocacy training and the content it would include, the development team conducted a literature search, organized focus groups at oncology association conferences, and fielded multiple surveys of cancer survivors, oncology nurses and social workers. The results of these measures supported the need for the development of the Cancer Survival Toolbox and the self-advocacy training that comes with it.