Cancer Survivorship

Advancements in cancer treatment have led to more people surviving cancer. The American Cancer society estimates that there will be around 20 million cancer survivors by 2020.

These survivors need special care to keep them as healthy as possible. This care includes:

  • Checking for disease return
  • Helping survivors cope with the effects of their treatment
  • Detecting and preventing other medical conditions
  • Helping survivors cope with the social and emotional strain of having cancer treatment

To help this growing population of cancer survivors, the Department of Radiation Oncology has started a cancer survivorship program to serve patients who have had radiation therapy. The radiation oncologist will help the cancer survivor decide when they should join the cancer survivorship program. Survivors will be seen by a nurse practitioner, who works very closely with the patient’s radiation oncologist.

During your radiation oncology survivorship follow-up visit, the nurse practitioner will:

  • Discuss your recent medical history with you and examine you to screen for disease return or late effects caused by the cancer treatment
  • Help treat any side effects of your radiation treatment
  • Help you care for yourself at home by creating a personal survivorship care plan that will include a summary of your cancer treatment and a plan for follow-up care
  • Educate you about cancer survivorship, including cancer screenings, healthy living, and available community/internet resources