By Anne Katz, PhD, RN
This Monthly Survivorship Series, written by CKN Survivorship Editor, Anne Katz, is provided by CKN with permission from ONS. We hope this series will become a useful resource that will help to facilitate dialogue between cancer patients, their loved ones and their physicians with a view towards improving the quality of life for cancer survivors.
As I read multiple articles in the process of writing my book on survivorship, I was constantly reminded that being a cancer survivor is WORK, lots and lots of work. I see my patients doing this work every day. How do they manage this?
From coping with fatigue to remembering to have repeated blood tests and scans, there is a lot to do if you are a cancer survivor. There are short term effects from treatment that have to be dealt with and then there are the late effects too. There is exercise to mitigate fatigue and prevent complications. And dietary strategies to provide anti-oxidants. How do cancer survivors keep all of this straight?
I think that many cancer survivors may not be getting any or all of this information. That’s concerning. I know that where I work, we are just in the beginning stages of implementing a Survivorship Care Plan for rectal cancer patients — what about all the other disease sites?
I also know that many others are way ahead of us; some cancer centers have highly sophisticated programs of cancer survivorship including personalized care planning, wellness projects, nurse specialists etc.
I envy those of you who have been on this track for a while — why don’t you write in and tell us about what you do?
Read Anne’s last post here.