Care Plans and Treatment Summaries
Cancer survivors need to know how to move forward living their lives after active treatment for their cancer is completed. One of the newest recommendations for cancer survivors and cancer programs is to have a formal cancer survivorship plan and treatment summary completed at the end of active cancer treatment.
The individualized cancer survivorship care plan may include:
- Summaries of all the cancer care/treatments that a patient has received including surgery, chemotherapy (dosages and drugs), the radiation treatment received (including both the dose and type received and the area of the body that treatment was given), and any and all other hormonal, experimental and newer therapies received.
- The original diagnosis and pathology indicators.
- Risks related to the treatment you have had. Some cancer treatments can increase your risk for secondary or new cancers or other disease such as heart disease or osteoporosis. This plan helps to inform you about these risks so you can take actions within your control to reduce these risks.
- The plan of care for follow-up. 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. Should include information on resuming your screening tests, exercise, dietary changes to reduce your future risks of cancer and other disease and other lifestyle concerns – such as tobacco cessation and chemoprevention.
- The very best cancer care includes a treatment summary and survivorship care plan. This plan is shared with all your doctors.
How to assure 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 request this be completed for you by asking your provider as you near the end of your planned cancer care.
- Talk with a RN Nurse navigator. The nurse navigators can assist in completing these plans for you, work with your doctor to complete them or assist you in completing a survivorship care plan.
- Check on-line 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.