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  • Establishing a Care Plan after Cancer Treatment

    "When I was discharged from the hospital, I couldn't believe how nervous and afraid I was because I had no idea what was going to happen next, in terms of testing and follow-up."
    — Richard Boyajian, RN, MS, ANP 

    What is a Care Plan?

    A care plan starts with an end-of-treatment summary, which is a record of what you and your doctors already know. It summarizes when you were diagnosed, the date of your diagnosis, what type of cancer you had, and what steps were included in your treatment. With this in hand, you and your primary care physician can start mapping out your care plan over the long and short term, based on the unique health risks that come with being a cancer survivor.

    What You Can Do

     
    • Ask your doctor for an end-of-treatment summary. When you're nearing the end of your cancer treatment, ask for an end-of-treatment summary. This is a document that maps out what you and your doctors already know. It summarizes when you were diagnosed, the date of your diagnosis, what type of cancer you had, and what steps were included in your treatment. This information is important, because it can help your primary care physician understand your medical history and better map out a plan for the future. Download the Survivorship Toolkit (PDF) to help you get started.
    • Ask questions. Ask your care team if your cancer treatments included potential health risks that you may encounter over the long or short term: What were you treated with? What are the health risks? How can they help you develop a plan going forward, to make sure your life will be the best it can be?
    • Create a follow-up care plan. A follow-up care plan is a road map for your health care going forward. Consult with your doctor or a survivorship program to learn how often you might need health care screenings or checkups to ensure your health for years to come.
    • Create your own wellness plan that includes ways you can take care of your physical, emotional, social, and spiritual needs.
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