I have taken care of patients who dealt with late effects from cancer treatment, an ongoing reminder that their lives had been altered by cancer. “Late effects are side effects of cancer treatment that appear months or years after treatment has ended and can include physical and mental problems and second cancers.” Depending on the treatment and how their bodies respond, patients can potentially deal with fertility issues, second malignancies, nerve damage, psychological issues and more.[Hewitt, M. Greenfield, S. Stovall, E. (2006). From Cancer Patient to Cancer Survivor Lost in Transition. National Academies Press, Washington DC. ]
I am grateful that I have minimal late effects post-treatment. It is imperative as survivors to get routine screening as recommended by a health care professional. Survivorship care plans are being implemented and are necessary for survivors throughout their journey post-treatment. I still get my yearly exams, blood tests, and scans. Evaluating our bodies and lives is a must.