This is a guide to cancer survivorship care that outlines many issues that may impact a patient throughout the cancer survivorship journey. A cancer survivor is defined from the time of diagnosis through the rest of life. The guide is separated into three phases of survivorship, and each phase features a list of needs that may arise.
- Phase 1: Treatment Planning Phase (This phase covers diagnostic tests and treatment planning.)
- Phase 2: Active Treatment Phase (This phase covers active treatment from the first treatment visit through completion.)
- Phase 3: Post Treatment Phase (This phase covers the remainder of life after treatment is completed.)
If a patient has questions or concerns about any of the topics listed in the survivorship care guide, they should be written down and discussed with the patient’s cancer care team.
Open communication with the treating physician and other members of the cancer care team is very important. It may be beneficial for the patient to recruit a family member or friend to attend appointments, and to seek out a support group or mentor to get tips on communication with healthcare providers. The American Cancer Society has created a helpful guide of questions for patients to ask healthcare providers, which is available online at: http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/003285-pdf.pdf.
Each phase of the cancer survivorship guide also links to a list of resources for patients. The guide serves as a table of contents for the resource lists; clicking on Phase 1, 2, or 3 of the guide will open a resource document that lists various programs and services that are available to address the topics under that phase. It may be helpful for the patient to ask a family member or friend to help the patient review the resource lists. All of the programs and services listed are no cost, reduced cost based on income, or government assistance programs unless otherwise indicated.* In addition to resources listed, patients should check with their health care provider, social worker, or patient navigator for programs and services offered through the hospital or cancer treatment center, and for local resources that may be available in addition to the resources that are included in the lists.
*Resources in the guide include non-profit organizations, foundations, government programs, and educational institutions that serve regions within Maryland and offer free, sliding scale, or government assistance services directly to patients. If a resource that meets these criteria is missing from the guide, please contact Brian Mattingly at firstname.lastname@example.org.