Cancer patients focus their efforts on getting through treatment and healing, and rightly so. But life goes on after cancer treatment, and the experience can present lingering physical and emotional challenges for survivors.
That’s 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.
And within the center, the Prostate Cancer Survivorship Clinic aims to address the needs of men who have survived the disease. The clinic, which opened its doors to patients in June, is a fitting addition to the center considering City of Hope has one of the largest prostate cancer programs in the state.
|Sonia Smith, a nurse practitioner, meets with patient Jim Hillebrandt in the Prostate Cancer Survivorship Clinic. (Photo by Paula Myers)|
“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 therapies 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 Department of Population Sciences.
These treatments include minimally invasive procedures using the latest da Vinci surgical robots. City of Hope performs more robotic procedures for urologic conditions than any other institution in the United States.
“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,” Bhatia said.
Patients eligible for the clinic 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 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
- Care with 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
The Center for Cancer Survivorship was established at City of Hope in 2006.
For more information, visit City of Hope’s survivorship resources online or call 626-471-9221.