House Call: Surviving cancer

Published: Jul. 6, 2021 at 10:35 AM EDT
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Tonight we are continuing our special series on cancer, as we look at surviving cancer. Joining us is Amber Shearer, nurse navigator at the Cecil B. Highland Jr. and Barbara B. Highland Cancer Center at United Hospital Center.

1). Can you walk us through what happens at the end of cancer treatment?

Absolutely, upon completion of cancer treatment, your physician will review the following with you:

· Prevention of new or recurrent cancers

· Prevention of late effects of cancer and treatment

· Routine testing for the return of a cancer (surveillance)

· Routine testing for new cancers (screening)

· Assessment and treatment of late effects of cancer and treatment

· Coordinated care between providers

· Planning for ongoing survivorship care

2). So how long does it take to recover from cancer treatment?

Your cancer experience is unique to you. When it comes to your diagnosis, treatment, and survivorship plan, one size does not fit all. Many effects of treatment quickly resolve after treatment ends. Long-term effects start during treatment and persist after treatment is done. Less often, effects start long after treatment has ended. During health visits, your health care providers will assess you for such late effects. They will provide treatment for late or long-term effects as needed. The first few months will be a time of change. Give yourself time to adapt to these changes and establish your new ‘normal’.

3). Will my health return to how it was before treatment?

When treatment ends, some survivors are able to close that particular chapter of their lives, readjust to a new normal and, for the most part, do not experience any major health issues related to their experience with the disease. Others, however, experience side effects of treatment that last beyond the end of their therapy regimen. Some of these side effects can last days, weeks, months, or even years. As you transition from active treatment to post treatment, you may find that returning to the way life used to be may be difficult. Recovery (both, physical and mental) takes a great amount of patience, as your body may feel the aftermath long after treatment has ended.

(Anchor) Amber, thank you for helping to put cancer survivorship into perspective for us. You are also going to be joining us next week for part two of our special series on surviving cancer. That is all for House Call; however, if you would like to refer to this interview, please go to our website at and click on the “HouseCall” button. There is more 5 News to come on the broadcast this Friday evening. Stay with us.

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