Prescription for Living at Pennsylvania Hospital is a survivorship care plan that provides patients with a summary of their cancer diagnosis and treatment. With more people than ever surviving cancer, the Joan Karnell Cancer Center at Pennsylvania Hospital created Prescription for Living to provide patients with the information they need to stay healthy after their cancer treatment has ended.
Every patient receives a treatment summary specific to their individual case when they complete treatment. These detailed reports document the diagnosis, including cancer stage, specific types of treatment as well as any other medical concerns that may arise as the result of the disease and its treatment. A copy is also sent to primary care providers and other specialists designated by patients.
It is important that patients understand and adhere to the follow-up developed for them. This individualized schedule helps the team to monitor patients' health and observe any long-term side effects of treatment.
Not all cancer survivors experience late effects, or issues that arise later as a result of treatment or disease. About two-thirds of survivors experience physical or psychosocial effects of chemotherapy or radiation that persist or develop more than five years from the time of diagnosis. It's important for patients to know about these risks so their health can be appropriately monitored. The cancer care team discusses any pertinent late effects with patients and together develops a plan to monitor and treat late effects.