The whole field of cancer survivorship is booming. This is good news for us, due to the reality that many people are living long and well after cancer--and may have some issues (physical and emotional) that are due to their cancer treatment. The publication of From Cancer Patient to Cancer Survivor by the Institute of Medicine in 2006 really jump started all the interest. If you would like a copy of this book, you can order one at: www.nap.edu
At BIDMC, we are about to launch a new program for breast cancer survivors that will include a visit with a physician or NP to go over the received cancer treatment, understand the possible future implications or side effects, and learn about all the resources available for help as needed.
One of my favorite organizations, Living Beyond Breast Cancer (www.lbbc.org) has just added a transcript online of a recent talk by Anita Broxon, MSN about these concerns.
Practical Tools for Living with a History of Breast Cancer with Anita C. Broxson, MSN, RN, OCN. Even after treatment ends, breast cancer impacts your physical and emotional needs. In this publication, get practical tools to inform your doctors, family and friends about your health history and the role of breast cancer in your life. Read about the genesis of the word "survivor," and how research shows your needs may change as you transition from active treatment (surgery, chemotherapy, radiation) to the rest of your life. Learn to create a survivorship care plan that contains a summary of your treatments and a record of long-term effects. Ms. Broxson, an oncology nurse, reviews the symptoms you should report to your provider and the follow-up tests you should expect—and those you should not expect in the absence of symptoms. Get advice on organizing your care plan, as well as online resources to get you started
If you want to read the whole transcript (and I recommend that you do):