What is a Survivorship Care Plan?

In 2005, The Institute of Medicine issued the ground-breaking report, “From Cancer Patient to Cancer Survivor…Lost in Transition” that urged medical providers of cancer care to create a “Survivorship Care Plan” (SCP) for every cancer survivor after treatment ends, to ensure that recovery and ongoing healthcare needs include the four essential components of survivorship care:

  • Surveillance for cancer spread and assessment of medical and psychosocial effects
  • Coordination of care among specialists and primary care providers
  • Intervention for consequences of cancer and its treatment, including lymphedema, sexual dysfunction, pain, fatigue, and issues related to employment, insurance and disability
  • Prevention of new cancer and other effects from the disease

The SCP provides a two-fold answer to the question: What is my roadmap once treatment ends to me get back in the swing of life? Part one: A summary of my cancer trip so my future healthcare providers will know what I’ve experienced; and Part two: Your guide to identifying changes in your mind and body over time that might be influenced by your cancer trip, and how to prevent and manage those changes.

Your SCP will help each of your medical providers-gynecologist, internist, family physician, rheumatologist, endocrinologist, cardiologist, etc.-know what treatment regimens you had and understand how your cancer treatment may impact future medical problems, psychological problems, or emotional problems…days after treatment ends, or years later.