Breast cancer survivorship
While it can be a relief to finish breast cancer treatment, it may also be a stressful time for many individuals. Survivors find themselves having less contact with their doctors and clinical staff, which can be unsettling, and they must learn how to manage their own follow-up care.
Breast cancer survivors must also learn to cope with the physical, emotional and social issues that developed during their breast cancer journey, as well as any late effects of treatment. Common issues may include: fatigue, neuropathy, lymphedema, bone loss, sexual changes, heart issues, memory difficulties, fertility concerns, and risk of future cancer or recurrence.
Edward-Elmhurst Health has created a Cancer Survivorship Clinic to assist you with the transition from active treatment to cancer survivor. Once your treatment ends, you’ll receive a survivorship care plan, including all the treatments you received and information about follow-up care, to help protect your health in the long term.
About the Clinic
The Survivorship Clinic provides a one-time visit with an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) with expertise in cancer care and the issues that survivors face as they complete treatment and return to everyday life. Your survivorship APRN will partner with your oncologist and your primary care physician to help you prepare for the transition to survivorship.
Your oncology team will let you know when it’s time to schedule your visit with the Survivorship Clinic. Your spouse, significant other, family member or other support person may attend the visit with you. Virtual appointments are also available.
What to expect during your survivorship visit
During this visit, your survivorship APRN will review your personalized survivorship care plan with you and:
- Review details of your diagnosis, a summary of your treatment, and information about common issues or side effects that you may still have from your breast cancer and/or treatment
- Provide education on how to manage current issues you may have (physical, social or emotional)
- Review a schedule for future follow-up visits, tests and lab work to help you stay organized
- Share ideas for lifestyle and wellness changes to help you live a healthy life
- Review a take-home folder with resources that could be helpful to you and your loved ones
Your APRN will share your survivorship care plan with your primary care physician, along with a letter from your oncologist that provides an overview of the plan and each provider’s role, to ensure comprehensive care is maintained in the future.
Insurance & your visit
Your visit to the Survivorship Clinic will be billed to your insurance. Most insurance plans consider this a necessary visit after completing treatment for cancer. If you have an HMO plan, your primary care physician will provide you with a referral to the Clinic.
Your survivorship appointment can take place at any one of our three Cancer Center locations in Elmhurst, Naperville and Plainfield. Choose the location that is most convenient for you.
Breast cancer support services
As you undergo breast cancer treatment, we offer a variety of support services to help you tolerate treatment, stay strong and maintain your quality of life.
Cancer survivorship blogs
Learn more about cancer survivorship by reading our blogs:
5 steps to live a healthier life after cancer treatment
What life looks like after cancer
Overcoming survivor guilt
Dealing with mood swings after treatment
6 tips to fight the fear of cancer returning
What does it mean to be in remission?
Having a family after cancer treatment
10 ways to celebrate your cancerversary