Every day through its Survivorship Care efforts, cCARE supports and celebrates cancer survivors like Susan Webster, who beat breast cancer and now runs a nonprofit fitness program for cancer survivors. Though many people view cancer through a lens of fear and sorrow, cCARE, the largest full-service private oncology practice in California, sees National Cancer Survivor Month as an opportunity to shine the light of hope on this disease.
With ongoing advances in all areas of oncology care, more people are cancer survivors than ever before. But surviving is not the end. Many patients come to identify themselves with their cancer. When that cancer is gone, Survivorship Care helps fill in the gaps and guides individuals to re-identify with their new, cancer-free life. With COVID-19 better managed, cCARE is restarting support groups and a healthy living group that focuses on survivors incorporating healthy living habits shown to reduce cancer recurrence.
The multidisciplinary experts at cCARE follow patients into remission, comforting them when they often feel alone, disconnected and unsure of how to move forward. They meet with patients to create an individualized post-treatment plan. Patients are given the tools to take responsibility for their follow-up care and guidelines on lifestyle changes to promote better health and help avoid recurrence, turning survivors into partners in their ongoing care.
cCARE also connects patients with activities and support groups where they meet other survivors and share their challenges and victories. One fitness program is led by cCARE cancer survivor Susan Webster.
“I wanted to find a way to make something positive from my experience with cancer and make the journey less scary for others,” says Webster, whose nonprofit Pacific Cancer Fitness also hosts guest speakers who cover topics related to cancer treatment and healthy lifestyle choices.
Another cCARE survivor, Yesenia Martinez, thought that after being successfully treated for breast cancer, she could simply go back to her pre-diagnosis life. But that didn’t happen.
“I didn’t look like myself. I didn’t feel like myself,” Martinez says. “I no longer identified as that person. You have to learn to rebuild.” She was able to re-create herself and find a new normal through the help of a support group.
cCARE’s Survivorship Care is all about creating continuity of care that allows patients like Webster and Martinez to find strength and direction in their renewed life. Not only can hope and healing be found through successful cancer treatment, but also from a care beyond treatment that transitions a patient into a survivor.
We hope you will consider spreading the hope to the Fresno or San Diego communities about cancer survivorship. Please contact me, Mallory MacFarlane (303) 225-9597, email@example.com, if I can answer any questions and help arrange interviews.
Source: California Cancer Associates for Research and Excellence