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 head and neck cancer
Led by a registered nurse, our Survivorship Support Program can help you maintain your health and improve your quality of life once your head and neck cancer treatment is complete.
After your treatment, we will work with you to assess your health and identify potential late or long-term effects of treatment. Then, you'll receive an individualized wellness plan that includes help with managing medications and side effects, as well as nutritional, physical and emotional education and support.
Each time you come to the hospital for a follow-up appointment, you'll receive a full array of tests that scan for metastasis, regardless of whether or not you are experiencing any symptoms.