People preparing for life after cancer treatment can use the Survivorship Toolkit to help gather and maintain important treatment-related information. A new offering from the Society of Gynecologic Oncology (SGO) and the SGO’s Foundation for Gynecologic Oncology, the various toolkits make available posttreatment self-care plans with information and recommendations on staying healthy, wallet-sized information cards, and a survivorship calendar for keeping track of appointments.
Care summary and follow-up plans are increasingly important in cancer care. The American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer is requiring accredited cancer centers to have a process in place by 2015 for disseminating these types of resources, according to an SGO statement.
In addition to the offerings for all cancer survivors, templates and individualized care plans are available for women with cervical, endometrial, ovarian, or vulvar cancer. “Survivors of gynecologic cancers have unique needs and questions after treatment, including concerns about future fertility and sexual health, that may not be covered in general cancer resources,” noted Ronald D. Alvarez, MD, president of the Foundation for Gynecologic Oncology and professor and director of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology at the University of Alabama, Birmingham.
The templates for the specific gynecologic cancers can be used to help women prepare for the posttreatment phase of recovery. The documents help put in order such information as
• The patient’s cancer history
• Diagnosis and treatment summary
• Follow-up recommendations
• Names and contact information for members of the treatment and posttreatment team.
Tables list the intervals at which survivors of a particular gynecologic cancer should undergo various tests. General recommendations for other cancer screening and tips for achieving and maintaining a healthy lifestyle are also available in easy-to-read formats. ONA