Helping Cancer Patients Make the Transition from Acute Treatment to Chronic Treatment and Long-Term Survivorship Care

AONN+ Blog published on February 8, 2012 in Survivorship
Lillie D. Shockney, RN, BS, MAS, HON-ONN-CG
Editor-in-Chief, JONS; Co-Founder, AONN+; University Distinguished Service Professor of Breast Cancer, Professor of Surgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; Co-Developer, Work Stride-Managing Cancer at Work, Johns Hopkins Healthcare Solutions

From the moment a patient learns she has cancer through the decision-making process to determine the definitive treatment and execution of that acute treatment plan, the nurse navigator has been at this patient’s side. But what happens during surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation treatments? The patient is now going to be seen less frequently, and definitely have less contact with you (her navigator). Yet you notice that the patient continues to call you frequently with questions and concerns, especially associated with fear of recurrence and challenging the oncology team as to why no scans or other tests are being performed to “make sure the cancer hasn’t returned.” If this sounds like your navigation life, read on…