Cancer Thriving and Surviving


One of the components of good cancer survivorship care is to provide patients with a programme to help with the transition from active treatment to living well with and beyond cancer.

The Cancer Thriving and Surviving Programme is adapted by Stanford University from their Chronic Disease Self-Management Programme (CDSMP) which is based on a rehabilitation best practice model and has been positively evaluated internationally and in Ireland. This validated programme uses a prescribed structure and manual.

The model is based on self-management with information and support and includes modules on;

  •  self-management 
  •  well-being
  •  cancer prevention 
  •  information on long term consequences of treatment
  •  psycho-social support.

The programme is run over 6 weeks with a 2.5 hour a week commitment. It is the NCCP’s aim that this programme will be offered to all cancer survivors who wish to avail of it nationally. It is currently being delivered in multiple sites by community and hospital based organisations around the country.

Authors: Michelle Gibbons, Deirdre Love, Terry Hanan, Louise Mullen.

Cancer Thriving and Surviving (CTS) is the first survivorship programme to be implemented nationally as a response to the National Cancer Strategy 2017-2026 Recommendation 43*.

The CTS programme was identified by the NCCP as an effective evidence-based self-management survivorship programme, which would meet the needs of cancer patients. The programme is the cancer-specific adapted version of the Stanford model Chronic Disease Self-Management Programme.

The programme helps and empowers patients as they finish treatment and transition and move into the survivorship period. In the past two years, the NCCP has supported the delivery and rollout of the CTS Programme across Ireland.

The programme includes sessions that address the recovery of self-confidence, adjustment to a changed self, and confidence to self-manage cancer-related problems and to promote recovery of well-being and successful transition to survivorship, following a cancer diagnosis.

To date a number of important milestones have been achieved; 111 programme leaders including 19 Master Trainers have been successfully trained, the programme is delivered in 20 centres nationwide, both acute hospital and community and over 600 cancer survivors have participated to date. The feedback from participants has been overwhelmingly positive. We aim to ensure that the CTS programme is available to all cancer patients regardless of where they live. Current plans include making the programme available online.

This report details and reviews implementation to date and provides an evaluation of the CTS programme in 2018-2019 and recommends actions to ensure continued implementation and sustainability into the future.

*NCS Recommendation 43. Designated cancer centres working with the NCCP, the ICGP, primary care services, patients and voluntary organisations will develop and implement survivorship programmes. These will emphasis physical, psychological and social factors that affect health and well-being, while being adaptable to patients with specific survivorship needs following their treatment 

Implementing Cancer Thriving and Surviving Report.pdf (size 6.7 MB)