Symptom Management for Cancer Survivors
Cancer survivors often experience a range of symptoms, many of which can be challenging to manage throughout their survivorship journey. Some long-term and late effects of cancer and its treatment include mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, or fear of recurrence; physical concerns like a possible second cancer, fatigue, lymphedema, neuropathy or sexual dysfunction; and other common issues like cognitive dysfunction or “chemobrain” as a result of chemotherapy. Extensive research by the LIVESTRONG Foundation highlights these common issues among cancer survivors.
Survivorship Care Plans (SCPs) and Treatment Summaries (TSs) are important tools for cancer survivors. SCPs and TSs offer a summary of your unique cancer treatment and a course of action for future healthcare providers handling your care. Information in SCPs and TSs can empower both you and your healthcare provider in order to ensure you receive the best possible care beyond your active cancer treatment. Several templates for SCPs and TSs currently exist, including Journey Forward, LIVESTRONG Care Plan, OncoLife Survivorship Care Plan and the ASCO Treatment Summaries and Survivorship Care Plans.
It is important to remember that these post-treatment symptoms are common among cancer survivors, and that it is best to ask for assistance from healthcare professionals, family members, and friends in order to minimize the burden caused by such symptoms. There is also an abundance of information available online from reputable organizations like the LIVESTRONG Foundation, American Cancer Society, National Cancer Institute, and the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship that can help you address ongoing symptoms from your cancer treatment.
Chemo-Brain with Dr. Jerry Fain
American Lung Association
National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN)
Piedmont Cancer Wellness Without Walls
Cancer Support Community