Do I need survivorship care?

Everyone needs ongoing healthcare after a cancer diagnosis but individual needs can be very different. They depend on the type of cancer, past treatments, other health problems, and your own current symptoms, questions, and preferences. We have identified some of the common issues facing cancer survivors. You will find links to self-help information, local and community resources, and specialized services to help with many of these issues at Mass General.

In addition, we have created a 1 page questionnaire that you can complete and bring to your next visit with your doctor that can help you get the care you need.

Do I talk to my cancer team or my primary care doctor?

We believe that it is important for most patients to have a primary care doctor as well as their oncology team involved in their care after a cancer diagnosis. There is no right answer for “who do I call” but it is important for patients to feel comfortable speaking to either their oncology team or their primary care doctor to help figure out who can and should address any of the issues that can arise following cancer, and to know that their primary care doctor and cancer care team are talking to each other to provide comprehensive care. If you have a symptom or concern, do not be afraid to ask questions. For most patients, your primary care doctor will want to know about your cancer experience and will want to be involved in helping you return to health. If you do not have a primary care doctor and are interested in seeing someone within the Mass General system, we have a network of primary care physicians with a special interest in helping patients with cancer. Click here for more information.

Is there a survivorship clinic?

At Mass General, we believe that survivorship care should be provided by those who know you best. We provide subspecialized cancer care, with expertise in breast, prostate, lung, colon and many other types of cancer and each type of cancer and each treatment brings unique needs for follow-up care and issues that cancer survivors face. We are dedicated to providing specialized survivorship care with expertise in your type of cancer. We also recognize that some patients can use additional help in navigating the wide range of survivorship services we offer at Mass General.

We have established the “Moving Forward After Treatment” workshops and one on one consultation program to help identify patient’s needs and connect you to the proper care within Mass General. Some patients will prefer to do this in a group visit, where they can share and learn from others, and some will prefer to have a private consultation. These sessions are led by survivorship program social workers who can help all patients get the individualized care they need. Click here to learn more about this workshop and others we offer or call Paula Gauthier, LICSW at 617-643-1784 to schedule an individual meeting.

What specialized services are available?

We offer programs based on evaluation of common symptoms and problems, for example sexual health or neuropathy clinics, and services focused on return to wellness, such as lifestyle medicine and integrative medicine. See our complete list of Survivorship Affiliated Programs and Services

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