What makes someone a cancer survivor? The American Cancer Society says a person is a survivor from the minute he or she is diagnosed. The National Cancer Institute includes family, friends and caregivers as survivors too - anyone impacted by a cancer diagnosis.
When someone is going through or has completed treatment, he or she may experience many symptoms. In 2006, the Institute of Medicine formed a committee to study cancer survivors and the effect of cancer treatment. Survivors said that they experienced many symptoms including:
- Cosmetic changes
- Impaired organ function
- Limitations in mobility, communication and cognition
- Psychological distress
- Sexual dysfunction
There are many changes that cancer survivors experience throughout their journey, and survivorship is a very important aspect of that. At the Bronson Cancer Center - Battle Creek, survivorship coordinator, Leisa Butts, helps care for cancer patients beyond their treatment. She customizes plans with input from the treatment team for each patient to support their body, mind and spirit.
Survivorship care plans vary at every treatment center. In the end, they all have the same goal – to help patients beyond their cancer journey. Many plans include:
- Summary of cancer treatment
- Primary care provider follow-up
- Counseling and support groups
- Exercise goals
- Nutrition counseling
- Pain management
- Tips for sexual health
- Screening services
- Genetic testing and counseling
- Smoking cessation programs
- Community resources
At the Bronson Cancer Center - Battle Creek, cancer survivors have the support that they need after treatment. Survivorship care plans are designed to fit a cancer survivor’s mental, physical and spiritual needs.
Cancer survivors are invited to attend a Survivors’ Celebration on October 2 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Bronson Cancer Center - Battle Creek. Join us for a free massage, food, refreshments, and connect with other survivors.
To learn more about the Bronson Cancer Center - Battle Creek, call (269) 245-8660 or visit bronsonhealth.com/cancer.