Have you heard this before? “I’m a survivor.” “He is so awesome, what a survivor.” “My BFF is a breast cancer survivor.”
Survivorship has been a buzzword for some time; a term reflecting life after cancer treatment. But now we recognize survivorship needs more focused attention. As the number of people living for long periods after a diagnosis of cancer increases, it has become evident there should be a focused plan of care after treatment. That plan is called a survivorship care plan.
Cancer and its treatment can certainly take their toll. Issues cancer survivors may face after therapy include pain, fatigue, fear of recurrence, living with uncertainty, neuropathy, lymphedema, bone loss, sexual dysfunction, cardiovascular disease, memory issues, and future cancer risk. While some of these issues will fade with time, others may linger. A Survivorship Clinic looks to minimize these issues and overcome them when possible.
The development of a Survivorship Clinic is in keeping with quality measures as outlined by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer and the National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines. Your Tri-Cities Cancer Center adds this to our support services as part of our mission to provide and coordinate the highest quality compassionate cancer care for the community we serve.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I benefit from this?
The goal of a survivorship plan is to help each cancer survivor understand where they have
been and what lies ahead. Most cancer survivors find their experience a life changing event. We want to help them move forward with individualized resources and referrals. This personalized survivorship care plan is shared with the entire health care team: medical oncologist, radiation oncologist, any specialist involved and the primary care provider. This will facilitate strong coordination and reduce the potential for unnecessary appointments or testing in the future.
Am I a candidate for a Survivorship Clinic?
Most cancer care teams are offering a survivorship visit but it is a new development that has a lot of room for growth. The Tri-Cities Cancer Center is currently reaching out to breast cancer survivors regarding their interest in survivorship care. In the future, we will expand the program to include other cancers.
Will my insurance cover this visit?
Most insurance plans consider Survivorship Clinic appointments a necessary visit for individuals who have received treatment for cancer. Before coming in for an appointment, we will review your coverage and assess any out-of-pocket expenses. Our Patient Financial Services Representative is available to provide counseling for those with questions or concerns.
Where can I find more information on survivorship?
We recommend these helpful websites: