Care plans and treatment summaries
After active cancer treatment is completed, it’s important that survivors know how to move forward with their lives. We recommend our patients have a formal cancer survivorship plan and treatment summary completed at the end of active cancer treatment, which is then shared with each patient’s doctors.
This individualized cancer survivorship care plan may include:
- Summaries of the cancer care and treatments that a patient has received, including surgery, chemotherapy (dosages and drugs), radiation (dose and type received, along with the area of the body that treatment was given), and all other hormonal, experimental and additional therapies received.
- The original diagnosis and pathology indicators.
- Risks related to the treatment you have had, as some cancer treatments can increase your risk for secondary or new cancers or other diseases such as heart disease or osteoporosis. This plan helps to inform you about these risks so you can take action to reduce your risk.
- The plan for follow-up care. This includes how often you need to be seen by your oncology providers, your primary care doctors, and the schedule for further follow-up and testing to monitor you for cure, recurrence or the need for additional treatments.
- A lifestyle plan. This should include information on resuming your screening tests, exercise, dietary changes to reduce your future risk of cancer and other diseases, and other lifestyle concerns (such as tobacco cessation and chemoprevention).
Here are some steps you can take to ensure you receive a treatment summary and survivorship care plan:
- Ask your medical oncologist to complete a survivorship care plan when your treatment ends. Many providers currently provide this service. You may want to ask your provider to complete this for you as you near the end of your planned cancer care.
- Talk with a cancer navigator, who can help you complete these plans.
- Explore online resources for survivorship care plans. The following resources have excellent templates and plans for your review and customization. Remember, the most informed patients have the best outcomes.
Find out about local survivorship resources and activities at www.PCcancersurvivorship.org.