What is survivorship support?
Promoting optimal health begins with your first visit to Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA).
Studies have shown that a significant percentage of cancer survivors deal with chronic health problems that may be related to their cancer treatment. The most commonly cited problems are chronic pain, fatigue, cognitive impairment and depression. We help our patients and their caregivers plan for those risks.
Survivorship support treatment planning takes into consideration, and plans for, the possibility of three categories of side effects:
- Short-term side effects: Nausea, low blood count, hair loss, weight loss, etc.
- Long-term side effects: Surgical scar tissue, hot flashes, neuropathy, etc.
- Late side effects: Secondary tumors, premature aging like osteoporosis and quality-of-life issues.
After a thorough self-assessment is taken to obtain a baseline measurement of how you are feeling, the cancer Survivorship Support team begins planning for all issues related to your upcoming treatment.
Continued care from a distance
Because it may not always make logistical or financial sense for our patients to travel to CTCA for post-treatment care, we have more than 1,500 “Care Partners” throughout the United States. These practitioners are familiar with CTCA and our philosophy of patient-centered care. They work with us to improve the lives of our patients. Our community care partners throughout the country include: oncologists, internists, chiropractors, family physicians, physical therapists, massage therapists and psychologists.
Every patient has a choice about whether or not to participate in the Survivorship Support Program. If you choose not to participate and change your mind later, you can always join the program at any time in the future. The Survivorship Support team at CTCA is trained by the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Survivorship Program.
Survivorship support for bladder cancer
Led by a registered nurse, our Survivorship Support Program can help you maintain your health and improve your quality of life once your bladder cancer treatment is complete.
Reducing recurrence risk
The possibility of cancer recurring is a major concern in bladder cancer. New tumors may arise in other parts of the bladder following treatment, or may occur in the urinary tract, which includes the lining of the kidneys, ureters and urethra.
There are no proven ways to prevent cancer from recurring. Healthy behaviors—such as not smoking, eating well, exercising and maintaining a healthy weight—are recommended, but even these measures may not stop cancer from returning.
Currently, studies are exploring whether certain vitamins, minerals, dietary supplements, chemotherapy drugs or other medications can lower the chances of bladder cancer recurring. In addition, it may be that strengthening the immune system with a vaccine can lower the risk of recurrence. However, none of these approaches have been confirmed to work, and more time is needed to evaluate their potential benefit.
Your CTCA care team will discuss any recommended measures that bladder cancer survivors can take that may help lower the risk of developing bladder cancer again. Although no measures have been proven to be effective, it may be worthwhile to adopt certain lifestyle changes, especially those that may help prevent other illnesses and enhance your overall well-being.