New Orleans Cancer Survivorship Resources
Helping survivors live their best lives during and after cancer
Whether you recently completed cancer treatment or are a long-term survivor, you may benefit from supportive resources while readjusting to life after cancer treatment. Transitioning from treatment to recovery can be difficult. Touro offers a cancer survivorship program to assist you.
Our program offers survivors access to experienced oncology providers, a wide array of support services and wellness initiatives, and a large community to connect with. It also provides countless skilled specialists who can help you through the various challenges and stages of survivorship.
Patients can take advantage of:
- Psychology, social work and spiritual counseling
- Customized physical, occupational, and speech therapies through Touro’s STAR Program
- Nutrition guides
- Resources to stop smoking
- Pain management
- Complimentary support group meetings
One important part of your life as a cancer survivor is follow-up care. Once your cancer treatment ends, Touro advises that you receive the proper care.
When you go for your first clinic visit following your cancer treatment, ask your doctor to design a schedule of follow-up care appointments for you. Your schedule will depend on the type of cancer you had, the treatments you received, and any side effects you experienced. Be aware that your health insurance plan may restrict the number of your follow-up care visits.
During follow-up appointments, your doctor will usually review your medical history, evaluate your current symptoms, and conduct a complete examination. Depending on the type of cancer and treatment you’ve had, your doctor may also perform other tests including blood tests or imaging studies, such as X-rays and scans. In some instances, your doctor may order physical or occupational therapy to help enhance your recovery.
Following treatment, we recommend the following screenings:
- Breast cancer: Monthly breast self-exams; Annual mammogram; Physical exam every six months for the first five years and annually after that
- Colon cancer: Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) may be tested every three months for the first two years, then every six months for the next three years
- Melanoma: Complete skin exam annually, more often if cancer was more advanced
- Ovarian cancer: Pelvic exam every two to four months for the first two years, then every six months for the following three years which may include a blood test for cancer antigen (CA) 125
- Prostate cancer: Annual digital rectal exam; Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test every six months for the first five years, followed by annual PSA testing
What to look for after treatment
After your treatment, you might be worried that any small change in your body could be a sign of cancer recurrence. Talk to your doctor about what signs to watch for. Don’t be afraid to report any unusual or persistent symptoms.
During your follow-up appointment, tell your doctor about:
- Any signs or symptoms you fear may be a sign of cancer recurrence
- Any side effects that make it difficult for you to go about your day, such as fatigue and pain
- Any feelings you have, such as depression or anxiety, that make it difficult for you to go about your day
- Any changes in your family medical history
- Any other health problems you are experiencing
You should also keep updated copies of your medical records. Your records have relevant information about your cancer and your treatment. During follow-up appointments, your doctor – or any doctors you meet with in the future – will want to review your medical records. Your records show which treatments you received and what treatments could be considered in the future should your cancer ever return.
Following cancer treatment, you will likely have some adjustments to make in your lifestyle. This is common given that you have undergone a major event in your life. It is important to recognize what impact a cancer diagnosis and treatment has had on you, not just medically, but in almost every aspect of your life.
Following cancer treatment, we recommend you incorporate the following lifestyle adjustments:
- Exercise regularly
- Eat a balanced diet
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Refrain from using tobacco
- Drink alcohol in moderation or not at all
- Maintain emotional and mental wellness
- Seek help if you experience feelings of depression, anxiety, loneliness, or guilt
Additional digital & print resources
For your benefit, Touro has compiled a list of books and resources that may be of assistance while you transition from treatment to recovery.
- A Cup of Comfort for Breast Cancer Survivors: Inspiring Stories of Courage and Triumph by Colleen Sell
- After Breast Cancer: A Common-Sense Guide to Life after Treatment by Hester Hill Schnipper
- After Cancer Treatment: Heal Faster, Better, Stronger by Julie K. Silver MD
- After Cancer: A Guide to Your New Life by Wendy Harpham
- * Anticancer: A New Way of Life by David Servan-Schreiber
- Chicken Soup for the Breast Cancer Survivor’s Soul: Stories to Inspire, Support, and Heal by Jack Canfield
- * Crazy Sexy Cancer Tips by Kris Carr
- * Crazy Sexy Cancer Survivor: More Rebellion and Fire for Your Healing Journey by Kris Carr
- Living Well with Cancer: A Nurse Tells You Everything You Need to Know by Katen Moore
- 100 Questions & Answers about Life after Cancer: A Survivor's Guide by Page Tolbert
- Survivors’ Guide to Breast Cancer: A Couple’s Story of Faith, Hope & Love by Robert C. Fore & Rorie E. Fore
- The Breast Cancer Survivor’s Fitness Plan by Carolyn Kaelin
- Uplift: Secrets from the Sisterhood of Breast Cancer Survivors by Barbara Delinsky
- Voices of Breast Cancer: Stories of Courage, Comfort and Strength by The Healing Project
What Helped Get Me Through: Cancer Survivors Share Wisdom and Hope by Julie Silver MD
* This book is available for check-out in Touro’s Patient Resource Library
American Cancer Society (ACS)—Cancer Survivorship Network
Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC)—Cancer Survivorship Resources
Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)—Cancer Survivorship
LIVESTRONG.org—Cancer Survivorship: After Treatment
National Cancer Institute (NCI)—Office of Cancer Survivorship
National Cancer Institute (NCI)—Survivorship: Living with and Beyond Cancer
National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship (NCCS)—Cancer Survival Toolbox