A Survivorship Care Plan is an individualized plan that provides you with a summary of your cancer treatments and puts forth a plan for you after treatment. The plan and summary can range in complexity from a lengthy, medical document to a one-page summary. While you may be excited to finish treatment and put the experience behind you, it is important to have a record of your treatments and a path to follow as your move forward after treatment.
In 2006 the Institute of Medicine issued the report, From Cancer Patient to Cancer Survivor: Lost in Transition. The report recommended that all patients completing primary treatment should be provided with a comprehensive care summary and a follow-up plan that are clearly and effectively explained. The plan will inform you and your health care providers of the long-term effects of prostate cancer and its treatment, identify support resources in the community, and provide guidance on follow-up care, prevention, and health maintenance. Click here to visit the Institute of Medicine and learn more about the report.
Since the time the report was issued, many groups, hospitals, and agencies have developed various versions of survivorship care plans. Some of the freely available plans are listed below. You can share these with your physician or ask if their office has a template or system already available.
Key Elements of a Survivorship Plan
Record of care
This is a record of important characteristics about your prostate cancer, treatment, side effects, and resources used.
- Diagnosis, tests performed, tumor and disease characteristics
- Dates of treatment initiation and completion
- Supportive care services provided, such as emotional support, nutrition guidance, etc.
- Contact information for the primary treating physician, the practice/institution, and key providers
- Additional point of contact for coordination of follow-up care
Standards of Care
This is a recommendation for follow-up testing and care based on evidenced based standards of medical care.
- Course of recovery from treatment
- Recommended follow-up tests and examinations and schedule for these
- Information about immediate and long-term side effects of the treatment
- Possible signs of recurrence and second tumors
- Information about the impact on personal relationships, finances, employment, etc.
- Recommendations for healthy behaviors
- Referrals to specific follow-up care providers and support
Frequently Used Survivorship Care Plans
- American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Survivorship Care Plan
- Minnesota Cancer Alliance’s Who’s Next? Life After Cancer Treatment