Mayo Clinic has the full complement of services for cancer survivors and at this point is still loosely organized with referrals to specialty services on an individual basis. Services include pain clinic, nutrition counseling, prevention clinic, genetic counseling, psychological counseling, and complementary and integrative therapies (such as acupuncture, massage and mind-body techniques). At Mayo Clinic, many of our patients come from other parts of the country and the world. This means that many times, our patients travel back to their home community after treatment is completed.
To assist with the transition into survivorship, in January of 2012, Mayo Clinic Cancer Center designed and is now offering a class to support cancer patients with a focus on moving forward after cancer treatment. As patients complete treatment, they are referred to attend the class along with their family members or support persons. If they are not able to attend the class, a survivorship booklet and care plan is provided to help and support them through this period. The survivorship class is designed to help:
- Learn tips for promoting a healthy lifestyle after treatment
- Discuss techniques for managing difficult emotions
- Identify potential long term or late effects of cancer treatment
- Understand the importance of becoming an active participant in follow-up care
The survivorship class addresses:
- Defining a "new sense of normal"
- Bridging the disconnect between your feelings and the expectations from others (family, friends, co-workers)
- Incorporating wellness activities into your daily routine
- Potential late side effects from treatment
- Dealing with fragile emotions, living with uncertainty and addressing the fear of recurrence
- Finding your way back to work/life balance
We are just discovering what works best for survivorship programs and resources; therefore it’s very much a work in progress. As patients are educated on the period of survivorship and what to expect, my hope is that they will be active in asking their health care team for support and resources needed.
Question by: Tambre
(Complementary Care Expert (Verified)