At Memorial Sloan Kettering, it’s one of our priorities to continue to check in with you once your active treatments are over to be sure you’re healing well and managing any side effects of your treatment, and to watch for any signs that your cancer is back. We offer comprehensive follow-up care for people who’ve been treated here as part of our institution-wide Survivorship Initiative.
A nurse practitioner who specializes in the care of colon and rectal cancer survivors will provide your follow-up care. In addition to monitoring for signs of cancer recurrence, he or she will focus on identifying, preventing, and controlling any long-term and late effects associated with your cancer and its treatment.
During a survivorship follow-up visit, the nurse practitioner will:
- perform a physical exam and review your medical history
- complete an assessment to detect recurrence of cancer
- identify, evaluate, and manage any long-term or late effects of cancer and its treatment (both physical and psychological)
- discuss methods to prevent new health problems and make health recommendations related to nutrition, exercise, and quitting tobacco use
- healthy lifestyle recommendations, including nutrition, exercise, and tobacco cessation
- recommend appropriate cancer screening for other cancers
He or she will work closely with your treatment team and will provide you, your primary care doctor, and any other medical care providers with a treatment summary and survivorship care plan. Your physicians can then incorporate this information into your overall medical plan.
After each follow-up visit, your nurse practitioner will continue to update your other medical providers.
As your need for NP visits decreases, we may recommend that you shift your care to your primary care doctor or gastroenterologist. The timing for this transition depends on which type of colorectal cancer you had and what type of treatment you received.