At Memorial Sloan-Kettering, we are dedicated to helping esophageal cancer survivors live their lives to the fullest after treatment. We offer comprehensive follow-up care for people who have been treated here as part of our institution-wide survivorship initiative.
Your follow-up care is provided by a nurse practitioner who specializes in the care of esophageal cancer survivors. In addition to monitoring for signs of cancer recurrence, the nurse practitioner focuses on identifying, preventing, and controlling any long-term and late effects associated with cancer and its treatment.
A visit with the nurse practitioner includes the following:
- Review of your recent medical history and a physical examination
- Assessment to detect recurrence of cancer
- Identification and management of the effects of cancer and its treatment
- Screening referrals for other cancers
- Health promotion recommendations related to nutrition, exercise, and smoking cessation
- Treatment summary and follow-up care plan
- Consultation with your Memorial Sloan-Kettering physician as needed
In addition to working closely with your treatment team, the nurse practitioner provides a treatment summary and survivorship care plan to you, your primary care doctor, and other medical providers. Your physicians can then incorporate this information into your overall medical plan.
After each visit, the nurse practitioner will continue to update your other medical providers.
Your Follow-Up Care Provider
Mary Schoen, NP
I am a nurse practitioner with special training in esophageal cancer survivorship issues. I graduated from New York University's nurse practitioner program and have worked at Memorial Sloan-Kettering since 1999.
Following treatment, your doctor may recommend adjusting your diet to manage side effects and to ensure that you receive adequate nutrition.
Nutritionists at Memorial Sloan-Kettering will work with you to design a dietary plan and to discuss other ways to alter your eating habits to minimize discomfort. If you undergo esophageal surgery you may need to:
- eat several small meals each day instead of fewer large meals
- avoid certain foods such as milk, chocolate, concentrated sweets, and spiced and fried foods
- change your sleeping position so that your head is slightly elevated, to prevent food and stomach acids from traveling back up through the esophagus
- stop drinking or smoking to reduce the chance that a new cancer will develop
- improve appetite and nutrition
These types of adjustments are easier for some patients than for others. If you have trouble, our extensive survivorship and support program can help you.
Following treatment for esophageal cancer, you may notice changes in your range of motion, strength, flexibility, and endurance. Rehabilitation therapy can help to improve your quality of life.
At Memorial Sloan-Kettering, physical therapists work closely with your medical team to design individualized exercise programs that can help you increase your strength, endurance, and balance after treatment. We also address respiratory problems that can occur following esophageal surgery, educating patients about the most effective way to cough and keep the airways clear.
Our team also includes occupational therapists who can assist you in maintaining your independence and your ability to perform everyday activities.
See Rehabilitation for further information about our services, including appointment information.