Survivorship

Survivorship Clinic

Cancer and its treatment can result in some potentially long-lasting or late-onset effects. The Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) Survivorship Clinic addresses various problems cancer survivors may face after therapy ends. These include pain, fatigue, fear of recurrence, living with uncertainty, neuropathy, lymphedema, bone loss, sexual dysfunction, cardiovascular disease, memory issues, and future cancer risk.

During your visit, our medical staff will talk with you about how to assess and manage late complications or issues you may be experiencing, and develop a plan to support your future health.

Lymphedema A condition in which extra lymph fluid builds up in tissues and causes swelling. It may occur in an arm or leg if lymph vessels are blocked, damaged or removed by surgery. Neuropathy A numbness, tingling or pain from nerve damage caused by a tumor or by treatment. Recurrence Cancer that has come back, usually after a period during which it could not be detected. It may come back to the same place as the original (primary) tumor or someplace else. Also called recurrent cancer.
Overview of the Survivorship Clinic.

Survivorship clinic for adults

The SCCA Survivorship Clinic offers expert assistance to those transitioning from active treatment to day-to-day living as a cancer survivor.

Regardless of whether you were treated for cancer at SCCA or at another medical facility, you can meet with our providers and receive a Survivorship Care Plan, which contains resources and support information particular to your needs.

How this care differs from what your oncologist provides

Survivorship Clinic staff do not provide surveillance for cancer recurrence. Your oncologist will continue to keep watch for this. During your Survivorship Clinic visit we will:

  • Explain late and long-term effects of your cancer and treatment
  • Recommend healthy lifestyle behaviors to reduce complications and lower your risk of additional cancers
  • Provide an individualized cancer treatment summary and a Survivorship Care Plan

Depending on your preference and personal situation, you may either receive annual follow-ups in the Survivorship Clinic or return to your primary care provider. 

Oncologist A physician who has special training in diagnosing and treating cancer. Some oncologists specialize in a particular type of cancer treatment, such as treating cancer with radiation. A physician who has special training in diagnosing and treating cancer. Some oncologists specialize in a particular type of cancer treatment. For example, a radiation oncologist specializes in treating cancer with radiation. Recurrence Cancer that has come back, usually after a period during which it could not be detected. It may come back to the same place as the original (primary) tumor or someplace else. Also called recurrent cancer. Surveillance Closely watching a patient’s condition but not treating it unless there are changes in test results. Surveillance is also used to find early signs that a disease has come back. In medicine, surveillance means closely watching a patient’s condition but not treating it unless there are changes in test results. Surveillance is also used to find early signs that a disease has come back. It may also be used for a person who has an increased risk of a disease, such as cancer. During surveillance, certain exams and tests are done on a regular schedule. In public health, surveillance may also refer to the ongoing collection of information about a disease, such as cancer, in a certain group of people. The information collected may include where the disease occurs in a population and whether it affects people of a certain gender, age or ethnic group.
Survivorship Care Plan

After an initial appointment at the Survivorship Clinic at SCCA, you will receive a Survivorship Care Plan as well as a Survivorship Notebook of patient resources. This document lists all the treatment and medical information that is pertinent to your diagnosis and any possible after effects you may experience. We’ll tailor information to your specific needs to help you understand your risks and how to best manage them.

Survivorship Notebooks (PDF)

Survivorship Care Plans are now required by accreditation standards for hospital cancer programs.

A summary of care may include:

  • Diagnostic tests and results
  • Tumor characteristics, including sites(s), stage, grade, hormone status, biomarker results
  • Details on treatment
    • Type of treatment (surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, transplantation, hormone therapy, gene therapy, or other)
    • Agents used (regimen, total dosage)
    • Beginning and ending dates
    • Indicators of response
    • Toxicities
  • Support services provided (psychological, nutritional, other)
  • Contact information for treating institutions and key individual providers
  • Name of key point of contact and coordinator for your continuing care

A brief outline of our evidence-based follow-up care recommendations may include:

  • Likely course of recovery from treatment toxicities
  • Need for ongoing health maintenance/adjuvant therapy
  • Recommended cancer screenings and other periodic testing/examinations, including schedule and providers
  • Possible late and long-term effects of treatment and their symptoms
  • Possible psychological effects (marital/partner relationships, sexual functioning, work, parenting) and the potential need for psychological support
  • Possible insurance, employment, and financial consequences as well as referrals for appropriate counseling, as necessary
  • Specific recommendations for lifestyle changes to promote health
  • Genetic counseling and testing, if applicable
  • Known effective chemoprevention strategies
  • Cancer-related resources
Chemoprevention The use of drugs, vitamins or other agents to try to reduce the risk of, or delay the development or recurrence of, cancer. Chemotherapy Treatment that uses drugs to stop the growth of cancer cells, either by killing the cells or by stopping them from dividing. It may be given alone or with other treatments. Treatment that uses drugs to stop the growth of cancer cells, either by killing the cells or by stopping them from dividing. Chemotherapy may be given by mouth, injection, infusion or on the skin, depending on the type and stage of the cancer being treated. It may be given alone or with other treatments, such as surgery, radiation therapy or biologic therapy. Gene The functional and physical unit of heredity passed from parent to offspring. Genes are pieces of DNA, and most genes contain the information for making a specific protein. Grade In cancer, a grade is a description of a tumor based on how abnormal the cancer cells and tissue look under a microscope and how quickly the cancer cells are likely to grow and spread. In cancer, a grade is a description of a tumor based on how abnormal the cancer cells and tissue look under a microscope and how quickly the cancer cells are likely to grow and spread. Low-grade cancer cells look more like normal cells and tend to grow and spread more slowly than high-grade cancer cells. Grading systems are different for each type of cancer. They are used to help plan treatment and determine prognosis. Also called histologic grade and tumor grade. Hormone therapy Hormones can cause some cancers to grow. To slow or stop growth, synthetic hormones or other drugs can be used to block the body’s natural hormones, or surgery is used to remove a hormone-producing gland. Treatment that adds, blocks or removes hormones. For certain conditions (such as diabetes or menopause), hormones are given to adjust low hormone levels. Hormones can also cause certain cancers (such as prostate and breast cancer) to grow. To slow or stop the growth of cancer, synthetic hormones or other drugs can be used to block the body’s natural hormones, or surgery is used to remove the gland that makes a certain hormone. Also called endocrine therapy, hormonal therapy and hormone treatment. Stage The extent of a cancer in the body. Staging is usually based on the size of the tumor, whether lymph nodes contain cancer and whether the cancer has spread from the original site to other parts of the body.
Survivorship Care Plan

After an initial appointment at the Survivorship Clinic at SCCA, you will receive a Survivorship Care Plan as well as a Survivorship Notebook of patient resources. This document lists all the treatment and medical information that is pertinent to your diagnosis and any possible after effects you may experience. We’ll tailor information to your specific needs to help you understand your risks and how to best manage them.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    How can this clinic benefit me?

    The knowledge gained from reviewing your cancer treatment can help you understand your future health risks. We have experts available to assist and educate you regarding your risks and how to prevent and manage them. We can also address current physical or social survivorship concerns you may be facing as a result of your treatment.

    Will my insurance cover this visit?

    Most insurance plans consider this a necessary visit for individuals who have received treatment for cancer. Prior to coming in for an appointment, we recommend that you check with your insurance company to review your coverage and any out-of-pocket expenses. A Patient Financial Services representative from SCCA is available to provide counseling for those with concerns.

    What can I expect from my Survivorship Clinic appointment?

    We provide an individualized Treatment Summary and Survivorship Care Plan. This includes an evaluation and information on the prevention of the late effects of your cancer and cancer treatment, recommendations and resources for dealing with long-term effects, and suggestions for healthy lifestyle behaviors. Copies of the treatment summary, survivorship care plan, and any recommendations made during the appointment are shared with your health care team, including your oncologist and primary care provider. We will work in partnership with these providers to make sure your survivorship needs are being met. We do not provide testing for recurrence of your cancer; this care will continue to be provided by your oncologist. 

    Oncologist A physician who has special training in diagnosing and treating cancer. Some oncologists specialize in a particular type of cancer treatment, such as treating cancer with radiation. A physician who has special training in diagnosing and treating cancer. Some oncologists specialize in a particular type of cancer treatment. For example, a radiation oncologist specializes in treating cancer with radiation. Recurrence Cancer that has come back, usually after a period during which it could not be detected. It may come back to the same place as the original (primary) tumor or someplace else. Also called recurrent cancer.
    How will this clinical care differ from what I receive from my oncologist?

    We do not provide surveillance for recurrence of your cancer. This care will continue to be provided by your oncologist. We do provide education about late and long-term effects of cancer and recommendations for healthy lifestyle behaviors.

    Oncologist A physician who has special training in diagnosing and treating cancer. Some oncologists specialize in a particular type of cancer treatment, such as treating cancer with radiation. A physician who has special training in diagnosing and treating cancer. Some oncologists specialize in a particular type of cancer treatment. For example, a radiation oncologist specializes in treating cancer with radiation. Recurrence Cancer that has come back, usually after a period during which it could not be detected. It may come back to the same place as the original (primary) tumor or someplace else. Also called recurrent cancer. Surveillance Closely watching a patient’s condition but not treating it unless there are changes in test results. Surveillance is also used to find early signs that a disease has come back. In medicine, surveillance means closely watching a patient’s condition but not treating it unless there are changes in test results. Surveillance is also used to find early signs that a disease has come back. It may also be used for a person who has an increased risk of a disease, such as cancer. During surveillance, certain exams and tests are done on a regular schedule. In public health, surveillance may also refer to the ongoing collection of information about a disease, such as cancer, in a certain group of people. The information collected may include where the disease occurs in a population and whether it affects people of a certain gender, age or ethnic group.
    How many appointments will I have in the Survivorship Clinic?

    The number of appointments you will have depends on your preference. Your personal situation will be discussed with you during your initial appointment. You may have one appointment, an annual appointment, or an appointment every few years.

    SCCA Survivorship Clinic

    phone (206) 606-6100
    Ask for the "Survivorship Clinic."
    fax (206) 606-7015

    Mailing Address:
    P.O. Box 19024, Mailstop LF-261
    Seattle, WA 98109-1024

     

      About our program

      The Fred Hutch Survivorship Program is dedicated to providing education and support to patients and family members.

      We provide:

      • Individualized education through appointments in the SCCA Survivorship Clinic
      • Lectures and talks at cancer center conferences and community events that address survivorship issues and healthy living recommendations
      • Representation at local and national conferences

      We are equally dedicated to educating health care professionals and provide:

      • Treatment summaries and survivorship care plans to assist health care professionals in following your care
      • Continuing medical education opportunities in cancer survivorship
      • Publications and presentations on current developments in survivorship issues

      Learn More About the Survivorship Program

       

      Find care team profiles

      Meet the caring, dedicate people who take care of you and your family at the SCCA Survivorship Clinic.

      K. Scott  Baker, MD, MS
      K. Scott Baker, MD, MS
      Physician
      Medical Oncology
      Karen L. Syrjala, PhD
      Karen L. Syrjala, PhD