By Mary Brolley, Staff Writer
A cancer diagnosis may feel like a one-way ticket to a strange country. No passport, no map, no directions. And, at first, patients don't even speak the language.
Once treatment is complete, survivors may feel relieved, but they frequently are drained and uncertain as well. They may have questions about what's next, and it's likely they are more determined than ever to be conscious of their health and emotional state.
To help them -- and their caregivers -- navigate the physical, emotional and practical challenges of life after cancer treatment, the Patient Education Office at M. D. Anderson has developed a comprehensive booklet that's now available online.
Access roadmap for survival
"Survivorship: Living With, Through and Beyond Cancer," offers an overview of life after a cancer diagnosis and treatment. Whether patients have questions about how to keep themselves as healthy as possible, want to know how to deal with treatment side effects or how best to weather the financial strains cancer treatment may bring, this information points them in the right direction.
A list of survivorship resources helps patients find answers to questions or concerns about the physical, psychosocial, emotional or spiritual impacts of a cancer diagnosis and treatment. This section also indicates whether patients need referrals to seek these services.
"Because survivors may be overwhelmed with options and questions, we wanted to make it easier for them to find the information and resources they need," says Julie Bradford, program manager for communications in the Patient Education Office.
Online content expands audience
Although this booklet is available at M. D. Anderson, Bradford says making it available online ensures that patients everywhere have access to it.
"The Internet has broadened survivors' research options -- and our reach -- incredibly," she says. "We're so happy this information is accessible to people all over the world."
Download and print the survivorship booklet. (PDF)
M. D. Anderson resources:
Patient Education Office
Living With and Beyond Cancer (U.S.News and World Report)
Survivors After Treatment (American Cancer Society)
The Cancer Survival Toolbox (National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship)
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Survivorship Information Moves Online
By Mary Brolley, Staff Writer
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