At Cancer and Hematology Centers of Western Michigan, it is one of our priorities to continue to check in with you once your active treatment is over. We want to be sure you’re healing well and managing any remaining side effects of your treatment. We also need to watch for any signs that your cancer has returned (called recurrence). We offer comprehensive follow-up care for people who’ve been treated at CHCWM as part of our institution-wide Survivorship Initiative.
You’ll be cared for by a nurse practitioner (NP) who specializes in cancer survivorship. You will be monitored for signs of cancer recurrence. Your NP will also focus on identifying, preventing, and controlling any long-term and late effects (side effects that arise long after your treatment is over).
During a survivorship follow-up visit, your NP will:
- perform a physical examination and review your medical history
- complete an assessment to detect recurrence of cancer
- identify, evaluate and manage any long-term or late effects of cancer or its treatment (both physical and psychological)
- discuss methods to prevent new health problems and decrease risk of recurrence
- make healthy lifestyle recommendations and develop a plan to achieve goals
- recommend appropriate screening for other cancers
Your NP will work closely with your treatment team. During the first visit, you will be provided with a treatment summary, which includes information about all the treatments you’ve had, plus a survivorship care plan to be shared with your primary care provider and oncology care team. Your doctors can then include this information in your overall medical plan. This initial visit typically takes 30-60 minutes. After each follow-up visit, your NP will continue to update your other medical providers. Each visit will be very thorough. Not only will your NP evaluate for recurrence and long-term or late side effects, issues that impact quality of life will be addressed. These include weight, diet, physical activity, sleep quality and sexual function.