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Seven Things I Wish I'd Known Earlier About Cancer Survivorship

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It is challenging, in the years following a cancer diagnosis, to assemble health care that protects us from the lingering effects of the disease and its treatment and that alerts us to a recurrence or new cancer. While all people who have had cancer need some basic monitoring, our histories and preferences suggest that survivorship care should be customized to meet our unique needs. But these days, many of us find ourselves cared for by clinicians who are not familiar with the basics of survivorship care, who don’t feel qualified to provide it or who are simply not interested in doing so.

For these reasons, and from my own experiences with treatment for five different kinds of cancer, I wrote Cancer Survivorship: What I Wish I'd Known Earlier. In these essays, I reflect on what I have discovered about getting good care following active cancer treatment and what I have learned from others' experiences. I hope these reflections will help those who've been diagnosed with cancer live as long and as well as they can.

Full collection: Cancer Survivorship: What I Wish I'd Known Earlier (PDF) | Paperback

More Blog Posts by Jessie Gruman

author bio

Jessie C. Gruman, PhD, was founder and president of the Center for Advancing Health from 1992 until her death in July 2014. Her experiences as a patient — having been diagnosed with five life-threatening illnesses — informed her perspective as an author, advocate and lead contributor to the Prepared Patient Blog. Her book, AfterShock, helps patients and caregivers navigate their way through the health care system following a serious or life-threatening diagnosis. The free app, AfterShock: Facing a Serious Diagnosis, offers a pocket guide based on the book. | More about Jessie Gruman


Tags for this article:
Cancer   Aging Well   Inside Healthcare   Patient Engagement   Jessie Gruman   Disease Screening   Participate in your Treatment   Women's Health   Men's Health  


Comments on this post
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Linda Bergthold says
December 4, 2013 at 10:17 PM

Your experiences, Jessie, are so helpful to those who have had cancer as well as their families and loved ones. Thank you so much for your insight and your strength.