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Published on January 11, 2019

A labor of love for cancer patientsA Labor of Love for Cancer Patients

Falmouth Hospital surgeon, Peter Hopewood, MD, FACS, has had two goals in life. One was to run a marathon and the second was to write a book.

While osteoarthritis and an eventual hip replacement prevented him from completing a marathon, he succeeded in the equivalent by running numerous Falmouth Road Races over the years.

Now, his second goal has come to fruition.

The book, titled Quality Cancer Care Survivorship Before, During and After Treatment, was published by Springer Publishing in June 2018. Dr. Hopewood and Mary Milroy, MD, a surgeon in Vermillion, South Dakota, co-authored the book and oversaw the work of 15 specialists who contributed to the 15 chapters.

“It became a labor of love and it was a lot of fun because we got to put together all these chapters with what we thought was important,” said Dr. Hopewood. “And then we contacted national, leading experts to write a chapter on each of the topics. Mary and I each wrote a chapter, too.”

Through his work with Commission on Cancer (CoC), a program of the American College of Surgeons for the past nine years, and the Cape Cod Healthcare Cancer Programs for the past 10 years, Dr. Hopewood has worked locally, state-wide and nationally to promote quality cancer care.

His travels to conduct cancer program site visits around the United States, and the oversight of many programs has given him the opportunity to meet specialists on the forefront of cancer care, many of whom contributed to the book.

While the book builds on the many topics related to cancer, it shows how issues and problems in cancer care can be resolved by addressing them through programs and the delivery of care.

“We are in crisis for cancer care,” said Dr. Hopewood about the first chapter written by Dr. Milroy.

The death rate from cancer has only dropped about 15 percent over the past decade, compared to 30 percent from heart disease, according to Dr. Hopewood.

“In the U.S., we have about 1.6 million new cancer cases per year and out of those, 500,000 people will die over the ensuing years,” he said. “That means we’re adding about 1.1 million new cancer survivors every year who all need care.”

Dr. Hopewood’s chapter talks about how to utilize community health needs assessments to define prevention and screening programs.

“These assessments help to identify barriers to care,” said Dr. Hopewood.

Other chapters include prevention, screening, treatment, post-treatment, survivorship care plans, surveillance programs, and end-of-life care.

The book is available for all the national meetings for medical and radiation oncologists, surgeons, geneticists, palliative care, psycho-social coordinators, distress psychologists, cancer program and hospital administrators as well as lawyers.

“It has information for all of them,” said Dr. Hopewood.