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Cancer Survivorship - Living Well After The Diagnosis, Your Survivorship Plan


The term cancer survivor applies to any person diagnosed with cancer.  There are currently 12 million cancer survivors in the United States with 68 % of those expected to live at least five years.  Survival rates for patients diagnosed with Myeloma have improved significantly in the last decade due to improved diagnostics, treatment options and supportive care.   Living and feeling well while surviving cancer is a universal goal for cancer survivors.  Wellness requires an individualized approach with a focus beyond the just the cancer diagnosis including tailored screening, health promotion and management of other illnesses.    A number of health care providers from many disciplines may be involved in the continued care of patients living with Myeloma.  Patients and caregivers play a critical role in planning, monitoring and modifying their survivorship plan.

There are several recommendations for taking an active part in living well after the diagnosis of Myeloma - a survivorship plan.  Understanding the diagnosis of Myeloma, tracking treatment plans and outcomes including laboratory results, results of radiology testing, and any side effects of treatment will provide a quick summary of the treatment history which can be shared with all members of the health care team.  Maintaining a current medication list, contact information for all health care providers and copies of any reports or recommendations will help to integrate these recommendations into a healthy lifestyle.  Seeking additional recommendation for a healthy diet, exercise guidelines specific to the Myeloma patient, recommendation for health care screening for other types of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis is encouraged.  Organizing this information, assembling a health care team that includes physicians, nurses, dieticians, social workers, financial counselors, and other Myeloma survivors will provide the best opportunity to live and feel well.  Many resources for understanding the diagnosis and treatment of Myeloma and suggestions for staying well can be found on the International Myeloma Foundation website:  www.myeloma.org

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