Dear Healthcare Professional
A survivorship care plan was created by or for your patient using the OncoLife™ Survivorship Care Plan at www.OncoLife.org. This report is a summary of the long-term side effects the survivor may be at risk for and recommendations for their follow-up care. The report is generated from the treatment information entered by the patient or their healthcare provider. The summary provided is supported by cancer survivorship literature and expert opinion, but should not replace communication with the patient’s oncology team. Suggested management and follow-up points are broken down according to the toxicity-causing treatment (i.e. medical therapy, surgery, or radiation).
Keep in mind that survivors should continue to have screening for other cancers per the American Cancer Society guidelines and routine health maintenance as recommended by the USPTF.
Please join our SPOHNC support group that meets on the first Tuesday of every month at 6 pm in our community room. Contact Sue Jones, MSW for more information - 215-555-1212.
The following are general recommendations for follow-up care for head and neck cancer survivors:
Long term effects of radiation therapy vary greatly depending on the areas included in the field of radiation and the radiation techniques that were used, as these continue to develop and improve. One issue that is consistent across all tissues is the possibility of developing a second cancer in or near the radiation field. Secondary cancers develop as a result of the exposure of healthy tissue to radiation. Newer radiation techniques are designed to limit this exposure, but it is not always possible to prevent all exposure and still achieve the desired outcomes.
Survivors often wonder what steps they can take to live healthier after cancer. There is no supplement or specific food you can eat to assure good health, but there are things you can do to live healthier, prevent other diseases, and detect any subsequent cancers early.
In addition to medical problems and screening, cancer survivors also sometimes have issues with insurance, employment, relationships, sexual functioning, fertility, and emotional issues because of their treatment and we will discuss those in this care plan.
No matter what, it is important to have a plan for who will provide your cancer-focused follow up care (an oncologist, survivorship doctor or primary care doctor). You have taken the first step by developing a survivorship plan of care. If you would like to find a survivorship doctor to review your care plan you can contact cancer centers in your area to see if they have a survivor's clinic or search for a clinic on OncoLink's survivorship clinic list.
Fatigue is the most common side effect of cancer treatment. What many people do not know is that this feeling of overwhelming physical, mental and emotional exhaustion can last for months to years after therapy ends. However, it is important to remember that fatigue can be caused by many things and, particularly if fatigue is worsening or new, other treatable causes should be ruled out.