There are many defintions of a “cancer survivor”. We use “cancer survivor” to describe people who have finished, and are recovering from cancer treatment. Finishing cancer treatment can be a time of highs and lows. For some patients, going back to their regular life, or new normal may not be easy.
You may feel lost because you are no longer receiving active treatment; you may have a hard time adjusting to not seeing your healthcare team regularly. Along with the relief you might feel finishing your treatment, it is normal to have concerns about your future. Many cancer patients say returning to life after cancer can be a journey in itself.
After your cancer treatments have finished, you will receive follow-up care to make sure you are recovering and that your cancer has not returned. Where you get your follow-up care will depend on the kind of care you need and the type of cancer you had. You may get your follow-up care in your community, or you may have to go to a cancer centre (Halifax or Sydney).
Follow-up care is often provided by your family doctor, or in some cases your nurse practitioner. Your family doctor will be told about your treatment and any further tests or care that you should receive. If there is a need, your family doctor will contact your healthcare team at the cancer centre.
Cancer Care Nova Scotia Resources:
Living Beyond Cancer: Follow up Care for Cancer Patients guide (General)
Living Beyond Cancer: Follow up Care for Breast Cancer Patients guide
Living Beyond Cancer: Follow up Care for Colon Cancer Patients guide
Living Beyond Cancer: Follow up Care for Rectal Cancer Patients guide
Living Beyond Cancer: Follow up Care for Thyroid Cancer Patients guide
The Canadian Cancer Society can also provide you with valuable information on how to deal with the challenges that Survivorship may bring.
There are a number of other helpful resources for cancer survivors:
American Cancer Society
American Society of Clinical Oncology
British Columbia Cancer Agency
Cancer Council - NSW