The Survivorship Care Plan

One helpful tool for managing your follow-up care is a survivorship care plan. This document includes a summary of your diagnosis and all the treatments you received, as well as a follow-up plan of the steps you need to take to achieve the best health and well-being possible. The survivorship care plan is a very important part of follow-up care for everyone who completes treatment for cancer. It helps you work effectively with your primary care doctor as well as other members of your health care team.

Survivorship Care Plan Checklist

Use this list as a guide when creating your personalized survivorship care plan. Ask your doctor for a treatment summary, which should include:

  • The type and stage of the cancer(s) you were diagnosed with, as well as the date you were diagnosed
  • The types of treatment you received (including surgical procedures, names of chemotherapy drugs, radiation doses, and all tests that were performed) and dates received
  • Complications you may have experienced (such as side effects, transfusions, and hospitalizations)
  • Other treatments used (such as physical therapy, acupuncture, herbs, vitamins, or other alternative treatments)

Discuss with your doctor what your follow-up plan will be. This should include:

  • A description of your state of health at the end of treatment
  • A future schedule of visits (time and date)
  • Who will deliver follow-up care (and where)
  • Tests that will be done and why they are needed (such as those watching for a recurrence)
  • What long-term effects might occur (such as swelling or numbness in the limbs, pain, or depression), how to watch for them, and how they will be treated
  • Symptoms to watch for that might signal a return of your cancer
  • A list of any habits you may have that can interfere with your recovery, and the steps you will take to adopt a more healthy lifestyle