Dr. Ganz on Survivorship Care Plans for Patients with Cancer

February 2, 2015
Patricia Ganz, MD

Patricia Ganz, MD, UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, discusses how to better integrate survivorship plans for patients with cancer.

Patricia Ganz, MD, UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, discusses how to better integrate survivorship plans for patients with cancer.

Ganz says patients are hungry for information on survivorship care and usually start thinking about how they will recover after the first few treatments cycles. A survivorship care plan typically covers health promotion, disease prevention and surveillance, among other things. Once the patient has this information, they begin to feel more empowered, Ganz says.

Ganz says it is important to include the patient’s primary care doctor in the survivorship plan because the oncology division is not going to have the capacity to follow every patient forever. In order to make the system work better, a transition point needs to be established once the patient has completed treatment, Ganz says.

The most important part of the care planning process is to engage and communicate with the patient, Ganz says.