What is cancer survivorship?
Survivorship describes the experience of moving beyond cancer diagnosis and treatment toward wellness.
Thanks to earlier detection, innovative medical treatments and supportive care from family and friends, there are now more almost 17 million cancer survivors in the United States today. As even more progress is made in the fight against cancer and the number of survivors continue to grow, health care providers must have programs and resources in place to help survivors achieve the best quality of life possible.
UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and the N.C. Basnight Cancer Hospital are committed to providing cancer survivorship services for North Carolinians.
From the outside looking in, most people think coming to the end of treatment should be a time of joy and relief. However, many survivors find it can be a time of mixed emotions: a time for celebration, yet also a time of more challenges. Many survivors often liken the transition to being cast adrift — they’re not sure what comes next and they feel lost about moving forward.
Many questions may surface:
- What do I do now?
- How can I stay healthy?
- Will my cancer come back?
- What about the side effects of treatment?
- How do I get back to “normal”? Is there a new “normal”?
- In addition, though many survivors feel well, others can experience lingering health issues, financial consequences, and social concerns long after treatment ends.
What survivorship services are available to me?
It is important for you to know there are tools available to help you move beyond the illness and positively impact the quality of your life.
It is also important to take care of yourself, to make follow-up appointments with your health care provider and make sure you let them know of any physical or emotional things that may be bothering you, including things that get in the way of your daily life and well-being.
Survivorship programs and clinics can help you and your family address these concerns and help you feel better-in body and mind. The UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Support Program (CCSP) offers many services and programs to help.
Finding Wellness After Cancer Workshop
Finding Wellness After Cancer is a free workshop to help adult cancer survivors and their caregivers make the transition from active treatment to post-treatment care.
Survivorship Care Plans & Clinics
Survivorship care plans are a tool to help create an easier transition to life after cancer. We also offer survivor care clinics for certain types of cancer.
Melissa Holt, DNP, PMHNP-BC, MSW
Survivorship Program Coordinator