With the new national requirements for Survivorship Medical Care coming on board at hospital based cancer programs, more oncologists and oncology nurses, primary care physicians, and other medical and psychosocial providers of healthcare are becoming trained in providing post-treatment breast cancer care. You may find their practices include someone who is designated to be the Survivorship Health Care Coordinator to help you find the resources to improve and protect your health after treatment.
Your cancer center or other medical providers may not be providing post-treatment care yet, however, so be sure to ask what services they offer.
Ideally, survivorship care should center on the Four Essential Components Of Survivorship Care*:
- SURVEILLANCE for cancer spread, recurrence, or second cancers; assessment of psychological and late effects.
- COORDINATION between specialists and primary care providers to ensure that all of the survivor’s health needs are met. *The 2005 Institute of Medicine Report: From Cancer Patient to Cancer Survivor: Lost in Transition
- INTERVENTION for consequences of cancer and its treatment, for example: medical problems such as lymphedema and sexual dysfunction; symptoms, including pain and fatigue; psychological distress experienced by cancer survivors and their caregivers; and concerns related to employment, insurance and disability.
- PREVENTION of recurrent and new cancers, and of other late effects.
The award-winning The Back in the Swing Cookbook: Recipes for Eating and Living Well Everyday After Breast Cancer can help you “live your plan” everyday!
To learn more about how to find a breast cancer survivorship program or cancer survivorship center, and how to talk with your doctor about these services go to American College of Surgeons.