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Foundation for Gynecologic Oncology Debuts Survivorship Toolkit

Resource offers individualized care plans for increasing number of women surviving cancer


Photo by Cancer Type

  As cancer survival rates improve, there is an increasing need for simple, user-friendly resources that help survivors document their care and plan for life after cancer. To fill the void for this type of information for survivors of gynecologic cancers, the Foundation for Gynecologic Oncology is making available to patients and doctors a set of gynecologic cancer survivorship tools beginning in September, Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month.

  The Survivorship Toolkit includes templates for individualized care plans for survivors of cervical, endometrial, ovarian and vulvar cancers. A general, post-treatment self-care plan for all cancer survivors is also available, as well as wallet-sized information cards and a survivorship calendar. The Toolkit was developed by the Society of Gynecologic Oncology (SGO), which established the Foundation to provide education and clinical practice resources to those who treat gynecologic cancers with the goal of one day eradicating women’s cancers.

“Survivors of gynecologic cancers have unique needs and questions after treatment, including concerns about future fertility and sexual health that may not be covered in general cancer resources.” 

  “We often hear from our patients that being diagnosed with cancer and undergoing treatment can be overwhelming, leaving them without a clear sense of all of the treatments they’ve received and what follow-up protocols they should follow,” said Lynn P. Parker, MD, a member of the SGO Clinical Practice Committee and Division Director of Gynecologic Oncology at the University of Louisville, Louisville, Ky. “With this new Toolkit, women and their healthcare team have a simple and manageable way to collect and control this vital information.”

  The Survivorship Toolkits are templates that can easily be put into use at physicians’ practices and cancer centers where providers work directly with women to prepare them for life after cancer treatment. Each three-page Toolkit helps women and their providers gather and organize critical information including:

  • Names and contact information for members of the patient’s cancer treatment and post-treatment team
  • Cancer history
  • Diagnosis and treatment summary
  • Disease status at completion of primary therapy
  • Post-therapy side effects
  • Follow-up recommendations

Care summary and follow-up plans are becoming an increasingly important aspect of cancer care. The American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer is requiring that accredited cancer centers have a process in place by 2015 to disseminate these types of resources.

“We recognize the value of these resources to the growing number of people surviving all types of cancer, and we also know that each type of cancer presents its own specific set of concerns,” said Ronald D. Alvarez, MD, President of the Foundation for Gynecologic Oncology and Professor and Director of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. “Survivors of gynecologic cancers have unique needs and questions after treatment, including concerns about future fertility and sexual health that may not be covered in general cancer resources.” 

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For more information and to download the SGO Survivorship Toolkit, please visit www.SGO.org.