At Memorial Sloan Kettering, our cancer survivorship experts help make possible a healthy and full life after cancer. Our cancer survivorship program is an example to cancer centers around the country. MSK’s team will support you and your loved ones during this new phase of your life.
- Support groups to connect with other people living beyond cancer.
- Workshops with MSK experts who share advances in survivorship research and wellness care.
- Personal and family mental health counseling to cope with life after cancer.
- Diet and nutritional counseling to nourish your body after cancer treatment ends.
- Treatment options for lasting cancer pain and side effects of cancer therapies.
- Yoga, fitness, and meditation classes with certified coaches who have deep experience in cancer care.
- Care plans for life after cancer that offer a roadmap for healing.
Our experts understand your day-to-day life may never be the same after cancer. We will guide you to the right kind of support just for your needs.
See how MSK cancer survivorship experts can plan for your life after cancer.
Rehabilitation and Exercise
Cancer treatment can change how well your body moves. Training with our physical, occupational, and exercise therapists can help bring your strength back. Our goal is to give you the same quality of life you had before cancer.
We can work with you in our gyms at convenient locations closer to home. We have outpatient locations in Manhattan, New Jersey, Westchester County, and on Long Island. Your care team also will give you exercise programs you can practice at home.
Learn more about how we can help you get moving again.
Supportive Cancer Care
When you choose MSK, a team of experts care for your whole body, including your emotional and spiritual health. Our Supportive Care specialists are part of your MSK care team from your very first appointment.
Supportive care is sometimes called palliative care. It offers relief from the side effects and symptoms of cancer and its treatment. We help you cope with how treatment affected your sleep, diet, and comfort.
We’re experts in supporting people with all aspects of survivorship care. You may need support for anxiety, depression, and emotions about being a cancer survivor.
Cancer Pain Management
Your MSK care team has experts in managing the kind of pain that’s common during and after cancer treatment. We match pain medications and other pain management methods to your pain level. Our goal is to keep you as comfortable as possible.
Controlling pain has always been a very important part of how we treat cancer. In fact, MSK was the country’s first cancer center to have a service just for treating pain in people with cancer.
Nurses with special training in pain assessment and management will monitor your pain at all times while you’re in the hospital. Once you’re back home, we’ll work with you, your caregivers, and your local doctors and pharmacists to control your pain.
Mental Health Counseling and Support
Life after cancer can feel lonely. You may think no one else can understand what you’re going through. You may be feeling stress, anxiety, depression, or anger. Many people also feel left out from experiences enjoyed by people who have not had to deal with cancer. Counseling sessions are a healthy way to learn how to cope with these emotions.
Our mental health providers understand the many emotions you feel after surviving cancer. We offer individual and group counseling sessions, both in person and through telemedicine visits. They can help you face the emotional and social challenges of life after cancer.
Learn more about how we can support your emotional well-being.
Integrative Medicine Therapies
Integrative therapies at MSK include acupuncture, meditation, massage therapy, yoga, and exercise. We have a long history of studying and showing integrative therapies are safe and helpful for people with cancer.
MSK’s approach to life after cancer is to focus on the whole person. We can bring together integrative therapies to improve your quality of life as you start survivorship. Your MSK survivorship expert can make a referral to our integrative medicine team to support your recovery.
Life after chemotherapy and other cancer therapies can cause side effects. As a cancer survivor, you may want support to cope with chronic pain, fatigue, nerve problems, cognitive health, nausea, and stress. Without the use of prescription drugs, integrative therapies can help improve and control these lasting side effects of cancer treatments.
Diet and Nutrition for Life After Cancer
Cancer treatment can change your taste, how you can eat, your appetite for food, and digestion. But it’s important to get the nutrients you need during cancer treatment. MSK offers personal medical nutrition therapy to help your body get proper nutrition and stay strong during treatment.
Our MSK clinical dietitian-nutritionists will answer your questions about what you can and should eat. They can help with planning meals at home, and guidance about special diets, food allergies, and healthy eating. Everyone getting cancer care at MSK can make a nutrition appointment. You can see your MSK clinical dietitian-nutritionist as long as you need to.
Tobacco Cessation Program
It’s hard to give up tobacco, and even more stressful to quit during cancer treatment. But quitting can help with your cancer care, including having fewer side effects. MSK can help you with the challenges of quitting tobacco. Our Tobacco Treatment Program has specialists who can help you quit smoking or stop using tobacco. We use many methods to support you, including medications and behavioral methods that are safe and work well.
Learn how we can help you quit using tobacco, for good.
Cancer Care and Aging
Cancer treatment can be even harder to go through as we get older. Our bodies already may be struggling with health issues. We also have different responses to medications as we age. You may need support managing the costs of cancer care, your nutrition, and the stress of being a caregiver. MSK’s Cancer and Aging Team is here for you and your family.
Your treatment team includes healthcare providers with special training and experience in caring for older adults. They will guide your treatment and recovery with support that meets your personal needs.
Treatment for some cancers can affect your sexual health. Our Female Sexual Medicine and Women’s Health Program and Male Sexual and Reproductive Medicine Program can connect you with specially trained counselors who can help you find solutions.
Sexual Health and Fertility
Cancer affects your sex life in both physical and emotional ways. Our team can help with the many ways cancer treatment changes your sexual health. MSK has experts with special training in male and female sexual health and fertility. We can talk with you about:
- Physical changes that affect intimacy.
- Your ability to enjoy and want sex.
- Options to preserve your fertility.
- Your wish to have a child in the future.
- What to do if you are ready to try to conceive (have a biological child).
Perhaps you’re trying to have a child or think you may want to start a family someday. Talk with our experts from the MSK Sexual and Reproductive Medicine Programs. We can help you understand your options before and after treatment for having children.
Skin, Nail, and Hair Health
Cancer and its treatment can cause hair, skin, and nail problems. For example, chemotherapy can lead to rashes, itching, dry skin, and skin infections, while radiation can cause skin problems. For many people during treatment, hair loss is a very common concern.
We know how upsetting and uncomfortable these side effects can be. Our dermatology (skin) experts can help. MSK dermatologists (skin doctors) will make a care plan for you. Treatments can prevent and manage changes to your skin, hair, and nails.
Learn how we can help prevent and care for hair, skin, and nail changes.
Cancer and its treatment can affect your cognitive skills. People often call these changes a “mental fog” or “chemo brain.” It can be hard to pay attention, concentrate, think quickly, or be organized. You can have trouble with short-term memory.
MSK can help if cognitive changes get in the way of your work and daily life. Make an appointment with an MSK neuropsychologist (doctor who treats problems related to how the brain works).
Our experts have special training in treating cognitive changes in people with cancer. They can evaluate the changes and give you answers about what’s causing them. They will recommend therapies to help improve your thinking process.
Resources for Life After Cancer
Resources for Life After Cancer (RLAC) is a source of helpful information and support. RLAC is led by social workers with special training in cancer survivorship. They offer
- A full program of services to care for your body, mind, and spirit. You can meet with an RLAC social worker to talk about your cancer experience.
- There are also many support groups ready to welcome you. These are resources that connect you to people who know what you have gone through.
- RLAC also hosts talks given by MSK experts. These events offer you information about the latest in survivorship research. They also offer tips on day-to-day life beyond cancer.
Cancer Genetic Testing and Counseling
MSK’s genetic counselors have deep knowledge of cancer genetic. Using the latest genetic testing technology, they will guide your family and help everyone prepare for their future. We will talk with you about cancer prevention and your risks for many types of cancer.
Our Clinical Genetics Service can help you and your family understand your health history and what it means. If genetic testing shows there’s a high risk for cancer in your family, we will make a plan together.
Cancer Screening Guidelines
Follow-up screening for the type of cancer you had is an important part of survivorship. Getting your screening tests on time is important. Your MSK care team will give you a screening schedule.
You can schedule your cancer screenings at MSK. You can also choose to make these appointments through your primary healthcare provider.
You may have questions about when to start screening for other cancers, based on your health history. Talk with your Survivorship APP. They will give you advice and answer your questions. These are our latest screening guidelines:
- Breast cancer screening guidelines
- Cervical cancer screening guidelines
- Colorectal cancer screening guidelines
- Prostate cancer screening guidelines
- Skin cancer screening guidelines
- Lung cancer screening guidelines