A survivor is anyone who has been diagnosed with cancer. Cancer survivorship starts at the time of diagnosis and continues throughout the patient’s life and has three distinct phases:
- Living with cancer. This phase includes the experience of being diagnosed with cancer and beginning treatment to cure or alleviate symptoms. During this phase, patients undergo treatment (surgery, radiation, chemotherapy) based on their specific disease and condition.
- Living through cancer. This phase is the period after treatment has ended. While patients are often comforted during this period, they are also anxious about what happens next. During this phase, patients see their oncologist two to four times a year. Patients need to remain connected with their nurse navigators and primary care physicians to maintain consistent monitoring of their overall health.
- Living beyond cancer. This phase refers to post-treatment and long-term survivorship. While most survivors get back to the life they love, some experience emotional, financial and physical hardships. During this phase, most survivors go back to the care of their primary physician and do not need to see their oncologist on a regular basis.
Through our network, cancer survivors can work with their Survivorship Navigator to develop a survivorship care plan to maintain overall health and minimize the risk of recurrence and/or a secondary cancer.
Survivorship Navigators can provide assistance with:
- Assessing late psychosocial and physical effects
- Ensuring coordinated and comprehensive patient-centered care between primary care providers and specialists
- Intervening during any consequences of cancer and treatment
- Monitoring for the spread or recurrence of primary and secondary cancers
- Preventing new and recurrent cancers as well as any other late effects
Frequently Asked Questions
Your Survivorship Navigator will provide and review a treatment summary and survivorship care plan, which is assembled by your treatment team. This plan details the treatment you have received and the follow-up schedule that is recommended for up to five years after treatment. You will also receive support, wellness, and educational information.
Frequency of visits is determined on an individual basis, however your Survivorship Navigator will provide contact information for needs and concerns that arise between visits.
Yes, there are a number of support groups and workshops designed to offer support and wellness strategies after treatment. You will also be given contact information to trusted and reputable organizations such as The American Cancer Society, National Cancer Institute, and Livestrong.
Why Choose Hackensack Meridian Health
The Memorial Sloan Kettering–Hackensack Meridian Health partnership brings together two world-class organizations with deep New Jersey roots and a single goal: Find more cures faster.
Our head/neck surgeons are certified to perform transoral robotic surgery (TORS). Our Robotic Center of Excellence is one of the largest robotic surgery programs, with the highest volume of minimally invasive cancer procedures in New Jersey.