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Survivorship Tips for the New Normal

The transition from cancer treatment often is a challenging journey. During treatment, energy and activity are all around you. A team of medical professionals surrounds you, with added emotional and other critical support from your friends and family.

After treatment, you can feel alone, and uncertain. With less frequent hands-on care, you take on greater responsibility for managing all aspects of your “new normal” – your life and lifestyle as a cancer survivor.

A survivorship plan, a comprehensive roadmap for life after cancer can bring order and structure. Your medical team can provide complete details about follow-up medicines, treatment, tests, scans, and future appointments.

Here are some tips to help with your adjustment:

Talk with your oncologist to ask important questions:

  • What’s my monitoring plan?
  • What are my risks of recurrence?
  • What signs and symptoms should I look for in the future?
  • If a problem should arise, when should I call you and when should I call my primary care physician?
  • How often will I need to see you?
  • What imaging or testing do I need? How frequently?
  • Am I at risk for other health issues because of my cancer or the treatment I received?
  • How can I manage these risks?

Follow-up with your primary care physician.

Moving forward, your primary care physician will provide the majority of your medical care. We recommend you schedule an appointment and provide them with a treatment summary of your cancer care including:

  • The type and stage of cancer for which you were treated
  • Details about treatments you received
  • Potential long-term effects from your treatment
  • Oncologist recommendations for monitoring and surveillance

Consider joining a support group.

Concern about cancer recurrence is normal, but letting it rule your life is not healthy. Joining a cancer survivor’s support group or connecting individually with other cancer survivors can provide a deeper level of understanding and support, and help manage your fears about recurrence.

The information included in this testimonial is based on one patient’s unique experience and is not intended to represent all patient outcomes or expectations.