Cancer patients focus their efforts on getting through treatment and healing, and rightly so. But life goes on after cancer treatment, and the cancer experience can sometimes present both physical and emotional challenges for patients.
That is why City of Hope developed the Center for Cancer Survivorship — a long-term follow-up program that creates a bridge between cancer treatment and community medical care. The Prostate Cancer Survivorship Clinic, which began welcoming patients in June, is a joint venture between the Division of Population Sciences and the Department of Urology & Urologic Oncology.
“The need for a clinic specifically for prostate cancer survivors was identified as a high-priority area for both clinical care and research because the cutting-edge treatments provided at City of Hope offer new possibilities for research regarding the long-term effects of these treatments,” said Smita Bhatia, M.D., M.P.H., chair of the Division of Population Sciences, referring to the use of robotic minimally invasive surgery.
|Sonia Smith, a nurse practitioner, meets with patient Jim Hillebrandt in the Prostate Cancer Survivorship Clinic. (Photo by Paula Myers)|
“Additionally, City of Hope has a large population of prostate patients, so this clinic will increase the ability of the staff to focus on the needs of prostate cancer survivors.”
Eligible patients must have a history of localized prostate cancer diagnosed at age 22 or older and must have undergone surgical treatment at City of Hope at least one year ago. They also must have no current evidence of prostate cancer and no history of prostate cancer recurrence, progression or metastasis (spread outside the prostate gland).
Patients who participate in the clinic will receive these services:
- A “Survivorship Care Plan,” a personalized record of their cancer treatment and recommendations for ongoing monitoring
- Follow-up assessments for cancer recurrence
- Evaluation for any long-term complications of treatment
- Education about methods to prevent new health problems and how to stay as healthy as possible
- Screening recommendations for other cancers (such as colon cancer), according to national guidelines
- An emphasis on healthy lifestyle practices
- Referrals to specialists, resources or services as needed
- Communication with their primary healthcare provider and treatment team
- An opportunity to participate in clinical research
Directed by Bhatia, the clinic is run by a multidisciplinary team that includes Wendy Landier, R.N., M.S.N., N.P., clinical director, Laura Crocitto, M.D., medical advisor, Sonia Smith, R.N., M.S.N., A.P.R.N.-C., nurse practitioner, and Mauricio Arcila, B.S., C.R.A., clinical research assistant.
The Center for Cancer Survivorship was established at City of Hope in 2006 as part of the newly formed Division of Population Sciences, under the direction of Bhatia. The center provides specialized follow-up care and patient education in a clinical research setting.
For more information visit www.cityofhope.org/survivorship or call 626-471-9221.