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After the Treatment Phase of Colorectal Cancer Care: Survivorship and Follow-Up

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DOI: 10.4236/jct.2012.326125    5,323 Downloads   7,664 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

The number of long-term colorectal cancer (CRC) survivors has increased substantially over the past three decades due to both ongoing advances in early detection and improvements in cancer therapies. Adult survivors of CRC experience chronic health conditions due to normal issues associated with aging, which is further compounded by the long-term adverse effects of having had cancer and anti-cancer therapies. In addition, they are at a higher risk for CRC recurrences, new primary cancers, and other co-morbidities. This article will provide an overview of the clinical care of adult survivors of CRC. Epidemiologic data will be presented followed by a discussion of the approach to the care of long-term adult survivors of CRC, including surveillance of recurrences and new primary cancers, interventions to manage both physical and psychological consequences of cancer and its treatments, and strategies to address concerns related to unemployment and disability. Finally, we will explore the challenges of healthcare delivery, especially with respect to the coordination of follow-up between cancer specialists and primary care physicians, so as to ensure that all of the survivor’s health needs are met promptly and appropriately.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

M. Ho and W. Cheung, "After the Treatment Phase of Colorectal Cancer Care: Survivorship and Follow-Up," Journal of Cancer Therapy, Vol. 3 No. 6A, 2012, pp. 977-984. doi: 10.4236/jct.2012.326125.

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