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Cancer Survivorship Program Helps Patients Navigate a New Life

Jul 27 2022

Surviving cancer is an incredible victory. However, it can leave patients facing a life with a new set of challenges and concerns.

Our cancer survivorship program ensures that cancer survivors can improve their quality of life after their treatment is over. And with continuous advancement in cancer treatment leading to more survivors, the need for survivorship programs is greater now than ever before.

To address the lack of cancer survivorship programming in health care systems, the Ohio Department of Health awarded our Toledo market cancer centers with grant funding for a project to create and implement a comprehensive care program.

“We put together a multidisciplinary survivorship committee to assess gaps in services, and we adapted an evidence-based curriculum to educate our patients and proactively address the common issues of survivorship,” Lori Dine, service lines community program manager, (pictured above, left) shares. “We’re very proud of what we’ve accomplished and are pleased to share our progress with other systems across Ohio who are interested in improving the quality of life for cancer survivors.”

Upon completion of cancer treatment, patients referred to our survivorship program receive a summary of their treatment and have a discussion about the potential long-term and late effects of that treatment. Additionally, they are connected to survivorship resources and given a survivorship care plan that includes follow-up visits as well as the recommended surveillance screening schedule. A copy of this care plan is also sent to the patient’s primary care provider.

“The most reported side effect of cancer treatment is fatigue,” Lori Parker, RN, BSN, oncology ancillary services manager, (pictured above, right) shares.

“To address this, we have an oncology rehab program where patients with fatigue and general weakness can be seen by physical therapists who specialize in cancer treatment.”

Other reported side effects include stress and anxiety. One of the main highlights of our cancer survivorship program is our ministry’s ability to address psychosocial concerns, which may include financial worries, cancer reoccurrence and survivor’s guilt. Patients who are facing these issues can be referred to individual counseling services, conveniently located on-site. Support groups are also available.

These services are just a few examples of what makes our cancer survivorship program unique.

Interested in learning more about the oncology survivorship program? Please call 419-407-2345.

Also, learn more about all the cancer care services we offer at Mercy Health.

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