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There are millions of people in the United States who are cancer survivors. Many say they felt they had lots of support during their treatment, but once it ended it was hard to make a transition to a new way of life. It was like entering a whole new world where they had to adjust to new feelings and different ways of looking at the world.
To help make the transition a little easier, we encourage you to make an appointment with our Survivorship Clinic upon completion of your treatment. The appointment, a comprehensive visit with a dedicated Survivorship provider, is an opportunity to review your Cancer Treatment Summary and develop an individualized Survivorship Care Plan to help ensure you get regular and thorough care after treatment.
Follow-up care plans developed at our Survivorship Clinic vary with each person’s unique situation and needs. Your plan may call for regular medical checkups once you're finished with treatment, including bloodwork or other tests and procedures that look for any changes in your health. Alternately, your plan may require less frequent visits with your provider, which often grow fewer as more time passes and you maintain continued good health.
A visit with a Survivorship provider also is an opportunity to learn more about dedicated resources at Gundersen Health System and in the community for any emotional issues that could develop from your experience with cancer, as well as about other support services like exercise classes and support groups.
Regardless of the details of your post-treatment care plan, here are some questions you may want to consider asking your Survivorship provider, in addition to any others you may have:
- Which doctor(s) should I see for my follow-up care? How often?
- What symptoms should I watch out for?
- What tests do I need after treatment is over? How often will I have them?
- What are long-term health issues I might expect because of my cancer treatment?
- What is the chance that my cancer will return?
- What records do I need to keep about my treatment?
- What can I do to take care of myself and be as healthy as possible?
- Can you suggest a support group that might help me?
*Article adapted from the National Cancer Institute.
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