05 Apr Cancer Survivorship Care Plans
Triage Cancer and the California Dialogue on Cancer (CDOC), have partnered together in the development of new tools to help increase the use of cancer survivorship care plans. These new tools include:
- Cancer Survivorship Care Plans: A Toolkit for Health Care Professionals
- Fact Sheets for Survivors & Caregivers (English, Spanish, Chinese, & Tagalog)
CDOC is a state cancer coalition administered by the California Department of Public Health’s Comprehensive Cancer Control Program. CDOC includes members from state and local governments; private and nonprofit organizations; health, medical, and business communities; academic institutions; researchers; cancer survivors; caregivers; and advocates. One of CDOC’s responsibilities is to develop California’s Comprehensive Cancer Control Plan to reduce the cancer burden in our state.
One of the specified survivorship goals in California’s Cancer Control Plan is to improve survivorship care by increasing the use of survivorship care plans. Triage Cancer led a Survivorship Care Plan Advisory Group, which included doctors, public health educators, researchers, social workers, advocates, caregivers, survivors from throughout the state of California to develop a toolkit and fact sheets to increase the use of survivorship care plans in California.
What is a Cancer Survivorship Care Plan?
A cancer survivorship care plan is a written document this is a valuable tool for patients and their health care teams to monitor and manage a patient’s ongoing physical and emotional health. It summarizes the treatment that a patient has received, describes follow up care a patient should receive, and helps patients navigate other post-treatment needs.
The institute of Medicine suggested that the following information should be included in an effective cancer survivorship care plan:
- Treatment Summary: details of your cancer diagnosis, contact information for your previous health care providers, and any treatments received
- Follow-Up Care Plan: specific recommendations for ongoing care, managing side effects, signs of recurrence, screenings, nutrition, exercise, chemoprevention, etc
- Psychosocial Issues: relationships, parenting, sexuality and intimacy, body image, genetic counseling, etc.
- Practical Issues: insurance, employment, education, finances, etc.
- Resources & Referrals: cancer-related organizations, follow-up care providers, support groups, etc.
What is Cancer Survivorship?
The National Cancer Institute defines cancer survivorship from the point of diagnosis, throughout life. There are approximately 14.5 million cancer survivors in the United States. Cancer survivorship issues are really any issues that come up for patients and caregivers as a result of a cancer diagnosis. Those issues could be physical, emotional, and practical issues.
Cancer Survivorship Guidelines
Numerous entities in the cancer community have developed guidelines on survivorship care, such as ASCO, the American Cancer Society, NCCN. and the Children’s Oncology Group. In 2012, the Commission on Cancer released accreditation standards, which require cancer centers to provide survivorship care plans to all of their eligible patients by January 1, 2019.
Cancer Survivorship Care Plans: A Toolkit for Health Care Professionals
In order to help cancer centers provide survivorship care plans, Triage Cancer and CDOC developed a toolkit that includes these topics:
- Introduction to Cancer Survivorship & Survivorship Care Plans
- Elements of an Effective Survivorship Care Plan
- Survivorship & Survivorship Care Plan Guidelines
- Survivorship Care Plan Templates
- Implementing Survivorship Care Plans
- Survivorship Care Plan Implementation Challenges & Practices
- A Call to Action
- Survivorship Care Plan Resources
Cancer Survivorship Care Plan Fact Sheets
In addition to the Toolkit, Triage Cancer and CDOC also created fact sheets about cancer survivorship care plans, to help patients and caregivers understand what they are and empower them to talk with their health care teams about this resource.
Click here to download a free copy of the Toolkit and fact sheets.
Click here to watch a video about cancer survivorship care plans.