Moffitt’s Cancer Survivorship Program is designed for the 12 million cancer survivors currently living in the United States. When referring to cancer, the term "survivorship” has taken on many definitions, ranging from any patient or loved one from the moment of diagnosis to only those patients who are apparently cancer-free and remain so for a specific period of time.
The Institute of Medicine issued recommendations found in the publication titled From Cancer Patient to Cancer Survivor: Lost in Transition, which identified four components of Survivorship Care:
- Prevention of recurrent and new cancers, and of other late effects
- Surveillance for cancer spread, recurrence or second cancers, assessment of medical and psychosocial late effects
- Interventions to help with effects of cancer and its treatment
- Coordination between specialists, oncologists and primary care providers to ensure that all of the survivor's health needs are met
At Moffitt, we use the term "survivorship" to mean patients who have completed initial cancer treatments (radiation, surgery, or chemotherapy). As you finish treatment, we will continue to follow you carefully, but also hope to refocus you on wellness. This includes cancer screenings, nutrition and dietary choices, exercise recommendations, addressing fears of recurrence and common concerns or long-term or late effects that patients may have from their cancer or its treatment. Our goal is to help you with the transition from treatment to survivorship care. Patients should keep a record or cancer treatment summary of their cancer care. This includes: providers' names and contact information, cancer surgeries, pathology reports, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. They should also have a survivorship care plan for future surveillance, symptoms to report to providers and appointment frequency.
Aspects of cancer survivorship care have been ongoing throughout Moffitt Cancer Center for years within each of the clinics and are incorporated throughout the journey in the individual clinical programs. Patients who have a low risk for recurrence can be referred by their Moffitt providers to the Survivorship Clinic to continue long-term follow up. Moffitt patients, adult survivors of childhood cancers and those treated years ago at another institution can all be seen and receive a consultation at our Cancer Survivorship Clinic.