Life after a cancer diagnosis

Chief Scientific Officer Tom Lynch on addressing the needs of patients beyond treatment

November 12, 2018     

I’ve been working with cancer patients for more than 30 years. Before I joined Bristol Myers Squibb, I worked as an oncologist for Massachusetts General Hospital and Yale Cancer Center. One of the biggest changes we’ve seen across the board is the speed with which patients have access to new treatments. While these advances are great for patients, the evolution of cancer as a chronic disease for some patients has become a new reality with new challenges.  

Tom Lynch, Chief Scientific Officer

Tom Lynch, Chief Scientific Officer, Bristol Myers Squibb

Today, there are a record number of cancer survivors. For them, surviving isn’t the end of a journey. With such a strong focus on delivering the right therapy for patients, what often gets overlooked is how we help people with cancer actually live with the disease. These patients can face a number of challenges, including long-term physical and emotional effects. We know, as a result, that there aren’t enough support programs and resources available to help people who are surviving cancer.

It’s Bristol Myers Squibb’s firm belief that scientific progress must be coupled with support for people living with cancer across the full spectrum of their lives. Our company supports customized programs to help the body and mind of people affected by this disease. Through charitable donations, we also support research through organizations like the V Foundation, which through the Robin Roberts Fund for Cancer Survivorship Research is looking to better understand how to address the challenges cancer survivors of all ages face and improve their quality of life.

We’ve come such a long way as an industry in offering many patients a real chance at long-term survival, but we still have more work to do for those that are living with cancer. As a cancer community, we need to work together to improve all aspects of a patient’s life, not just their treatment. 

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