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Survivorship Care- Rebuilding Quality of Life After Treatment

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What Does It Mean And What Can It Do?

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Survivorship Care Planning is the roadmap to “a new normal” of moving forward with living for the patient and their family.  Studies have shown that putting such a plan in place enhances survival.   

Survivorship Care Planning after treatment involves the oncologist, the oncology care team that has been involved in the treatment journey with the patient.

The TEAM involves the patient and the oncologist and oncology care team, as well as the family/caregiver(s) supporting the patient throughout the treatment phase.

Why is Survivorship Care Important?

The good news for cancer survivorship is that the numbers are growing, with an estimated 17 million survivors living in the United States alone. Unfortunately, cancer treatments are not without consequence and these survivors are dealing with the long-term effects of treatments with little guidance. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) researched the state of care for cancer survivors and found that little guidance is available for survivors and their healthcare providers to overcome the medical and psychosocial problems that may arise post-treatment.
The IOM suggests that once a person has completed cancer therapy, he or she should be provided with a summary of the treatments received and a follow up “care plan”. This care plan should summarize the potential late effects, their prevention, symptoms, and treatment, recommendations for cancer screening; psychosocial effects, financial issues, recommendations for a healthy lifestyle, genetic counseling, referrals for follow-up care and a list of support resources. While this plan is extremely important, the resources required to create it have made it hard to incorporate into practice.

What Information Do I Need to Create a Care Plan?

The OncoLife Survivorship Care Plan is a “survivorship care plan” that is individualized based on the answers you provide in a brief questionnaire. In order to develop the most accurate plan of care, you may need to talk to your oncology team to have some details of your cancer therapy available:
  • Type of cancer
  • If you underwent surgery, what procedures were done?
  • If you received chemotherapy, what medications were received?
  • If you received radiation therapy, what type of cancer was this done for?

What Should I Do with the Plan?

This care plan is meant for you to review and discuss with your healthcare team (both oncology and primary care). Keep in mind that every case is different and the risks of some side effects vary based on the actual dose of radiation or chemotherapy that were received or the techniques that were used to administer these therapies. It is very important to review your plan of care with the oncology team to further clarify your risk.

Helpful Video:

Cancer Survivorship Care Plan Toolkit: What You Need to Know
A SURVIVORSHIP CARE PLAN be as simple as this:

Putting together a wellness “roadmap” means setting guidelines for enhancing health and well-being of the patient and their family/caregivers –  the TEAM:

a.  Medical – related monitoring guidance with a summary of the treatment received
b.  Nutrition and  Exercise guidance
c.  Emotional well-being –  involving potential family issues that can surface after treatment / Needs that must be addressed and met.
Building mutual support – patient/family/caregiver support that the TEAM needs from one another / Needs that must be addressed and met.

Who can help with the “roadmap?

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*  the oncologist and oncology care team

From Oncology Nurse Advisor:


Related Resources (click titles for more information):

NOTE:  Partnering with your oncologist/oncology care team for your continued care is important in rebuilding quality of life after treatment with a survivorship care plan in place.

Survivorship Care Planning Models for Various Sources for General Guidance:

Please visit the following sites to become acquainted with what will help you to navigate issues during treatment, as well as after treatment is completed.
This information is helpful to discuss with your oncologist / medical care team.  Cancer.Net and the Americal Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) have put together wonderful, helpful guidance that will benefit you after treatment and enhance your survivorship through careful, ongoing connection with your oncology/medical care team:  The following links will take you to this important information: https://www.cancer.net/survivorship/what-survivorship
Here is the ASCO Answers Guide to Survivorship, the treatment and survivorship plan is on page 12: http://www.cancer.net/sites/cancer.net/files/cancer_survivorship.pdf
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Survivorship Care Planning Guidance Resource Information:


Survivorship Care Plan – Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer

Sample Care Plan from Memorial Sloan Kettering:   www.mskcc.org/…/survivorship/survivorship-care-plan
A survivorship care plan is the record of a patient’s cancer history and recommendations for follow-up care. The plan should define the responsibilities of cancer-related, non-cancer-related, and psychosocial providers.

Survivorship Care Plan | Journey Forward

Survivorship Care Plan is a coordinated plan for the cancer survivor and their healthcare team, created by the oncology provider and survivor in partnership. The plan should define the responsibilities of cancer-related and non-cancer-related healthcare providers so that the patient does not fall through the cracks.

Your Survivorship Care Plan | LIVESTRONG

Survivorship after treatment is an important phase of cancer care. The Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) report, From Cancer Patient to Cancer Survivor: Lost in Transition, recommends that each cancer patient receive a Survivorship Care Plan—a plan for wellness to help you continue to receive the best health care.

Coping – Follow-Up Medical Care – National Cancer Institute

Once you’re done with cancer treatment, you should receive a follow-up cancer plan from your doctor. … All cancer survivors should have follow-up care

Examples of Cancer Care Plans – The power of survivorship

Cancer care plans should have three parts: the treatment care plan, treatment summary, and follow-up survivorship care plan.

Cancer Survivorship Care Plan Template | ASCO Institute

Follow-up Care After Cancer Treatment | Cancer.Net

Follow-up Care After Cancer Treatment. … of your follow-up care plan once treatment is … information from the American Society of Clinical Oncology …

An Updated Survivorship Care Planning Template and …

… the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) released an updated cancer survivorship care planning … National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship …

Finding Meaning After Cancer – a wonderful guide from Dana Farber Cancer Institute that helps us put things in perspective after cancer treatment is completed  . . . a helpful component of survivorship care planning: