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(NAPSI)—More than 14 million Americans living today have had cancer. Often called “survivors,” individuals with a history of cancer often experience great relief and possess a new lease on life, having successfully faced a serious disease. Survivors may also encounter anxiety, fearing re-occurrence or complications from treatment. During active treatment, people with cancer are often actively engaged in their cancer care and enjoy a sense of support and security from the regular interactions they have with their oncology team. When treatment ends, however, the biggest question for cancer survivors is often “What should I do now?”
The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), the world’s leading professional organization representing physicians who care for people with cancer, believes it is critically important for cancer survivors to receive proper follow-up care and ongoing health care support. ASCO has developed the “Survivorship Care Plan,” a new tool for survivors and health care professionals to discuss and record the details of the cancer diagnosis, the treatments received, possible late complications or side effects of treatments, the need for future checkups and cancer tests, and suggestions for maintaining and improving survivors’ health.
“At the end of their treatment, patients with cancer should expect to receive a survivorship care plan, but if they don’t get one, they should ask for one from their doctor or nurse,” said Deborah K. Mayer, Ph.D., RN, chair of the ASCO Survivorship Care Plan Working Group and professor in the School of Nursing and Director of Cancer Survivorship at University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. “The ASCO tool is designed to help health care professionals get survivorship care plans into the hands of patients.”
Download the survivorship care plan on ASCO’s patient website, Cancer.Net, and find further information for cancer survivors at www.cancer.net/survivorship.