Last week we shared a recap from Stupid Cancer’s Cancer Con and mentioned that our Education & Outreach Coordinator, Rachel, had the pleasure of leading a break out session titled, Getting Informed About Long-Term Follow-Up Care. In today’s post we outline what was shared.
Survivorship is a distinct phase in care!
Per the Institute of Medicine’s 2006 report, From Cancer Patient to Cancer Survivor, survivorship care includes
- prevention and detection of new cancers
- surveillance and assessment for medical and psychosocial late effects
- intervention for consequences of cancer and its treatment
- coordination among specialists and primary care providers to ensure that all the survivor’s health needs are met
Half of the attendees indicated they had NOT received a Survivorship Care Plan. After listing the components of a Treatment Summary and providing a detailed overview of the Long-Term Follow-Up Care Plans that are provided in our clinic, Rachel provided tips on how survivors can advocate for their own survivorship care.
Advocate for Survivorship Care
- If you do not have a Survivorship Care Plan: Ask your oncologist who will provide your plan, what impact your cancer/treatment may have on your future health, what late effects you are at risk for now and in the future, who should you see about late effects and what tests should you have.
- When moving into survivorship care, include a Survivorship Specialist (a provider who has experience in oncology and stays on top of the evolving care guidelines) and your Primary Care Physician (who you see for general health concerns and immunizations) into your care team.
- Learn what you can do to enhance prevention and surveillance of future health concerns such as quit smoking, protect your skin from the sun/tanning beds, practice safe sex, eat a balanced diet, avoid physical inactivity and promote emotional wellness.
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