How Survivors Can Take Action

CURE, Spring 2014, Volume 13, Issue 1

Guidelines created by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network have focused much-needed attention on survivorship care, but many cancer centers have yet to implement them. Survivors who need support or information about a physical, emotional or practical result of cancer treatment should contact their cancer center and ask that such programs be provided.

> Identify support services that are currently available online. Research shows that many survivors don’t take advantage of existing programs. Survivors should visit JourneyForward.org and search for available resources, as well as templates for survivorship care plans.

> Learn about locally available survivorship programs. At the next appointment with their oncologist, survivors should ask for information about programs available through their cancer center. Many organizations, such as the Cancer Support Community, also offer programs.

> Jump-start a survivorship care plan: Survivors should initiate a survivorship care plan by asking their doctor for a treatment summary and long-term follow-up plan. Their interest will emphasize the importance of survivorship issues.