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Oncology (Williston Park). 2009 Jul;23(8 Suppl):42-8.

Transitioning to cancer survivorship: plans of care.

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Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York, USA.


Survivorship care plans have received increasing attention since the 2006 release of the Institute of Medicine report, From Cancer Patient to Cancer Survivor: Lost in Transition. The report strongly recommends that at completion of cancer treatment, clinicians provide patients with a summary of treatment delivered and a detailed plan of ongoing care, including follow-up schedules for visits and testing, as well as recommendations for early detection and management of treatment-related effects and other health problems. Templates have been developed by various groups to support the effort involved in complying with this recommendation. Barriers exist, such as difficulties in accessing information, preparation time involved for busy clinicians, lack of third-party reimbursement, and absence of clear guidelines for follow-up care after cancer treatment. The absence of research related to care plans and patient outcomes also calls their necessity into question. Yet, there is a growing acceptance among oncology physicians and nurses that having a plan of care is an essential component of quality survivorship care.

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