After treatment

Dominique Connan
07/19/2017
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The end of treatment is good news, but this post-cancer phase can be a difficult one. Patients have to resume their normal lives, although they often feel very different. Institut Curie supports its patients and their loved ones in this final step toward recovery.
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At the end of treatment or following hospitalization, Institut Curie helps patients manage their return home.

Coordination between private practice and hospital

To help organize the end of hospitalization, Institut Curie has set up a patient care coordination unit (known as the C2P2). This service helps and supports patients in the organization of their hospital discharge, working closely with the various care units to prepare for the patient’s return home. The team, which features two nurses and a social worker, is present throughout the period of care at the request of service professionals.

They perform a variety of services:

  • They organize continuity of care (continuation and readjustment care, home hospitalization, service providers and independent health professionals).
  • They provide telephone monitoring to health professionals and patients.
  • They support and refer when there are difficulties related to the disease.

Post-cancer follow-up

When treatment is finished, your oncologist will invite you to a post-cancer follow-up consultation. The physicians at Institut Curie implement a personalized medical follow-up plan with your referring physician. Other health professionals may be solicited if necessary, such as a radiologist or a gynecologist. The goal is to personalize this follow-up plan to the extent possible.

It is also the moment for the return to “normal” life, a step that requires preparation. Thanks to progress in research, recovery rates more than one in two of all adults affected by cancer recovers. Before the cancer can become ancient history, however, there comes a very specific phase called the post-cancer follow-up.

The protocol implemented is personalized: everything depends on the disease, the patient, as well as the living environment. Sometimes the hospital oncologist will continue to follow up his/her patient regularly, and sometimes this role is delegated to the referring physician, or fulfilled jointly by both physicians. The situation often evolves over time.

The post-cancer follow-up consultation for women treated for breast cancer

Today, nearly nine out of ten women are alive five years after receiving a breast-cancer diagnosis. The stakes have changed, and it is vital that these patients receive help to resume their lives as normally as possible. This post-cancer phase is not so easy to manage, and Institut Curie has introduced a post-cancer follow-up consultation, which is held at the end of treatment. A consultation with a nurse is also provided to assess requirements for further assistance.

The patient receives a follow-up log containing the schedule of examinations and appointments for the next five years. The follow-up therefore establishes a collaboration between the attending physician and Institut Curie.

Life after cancer

The end of treatment and the return to “normal” life is often a difficult time. Institut Curie supports its patients in this step.

Returning to work after cancer: a key step

Returning to work after beating cancer is a key step in the resumption of “normal” life. This transition may be difficult to manage, and solid preparation is essential.

Of the 350,000 individuals affected by cancer each year, around 100,000 are employed.

According to a study conducted by Institut Curie, about 80% of them return to work once treatment is complete. What could be considered the final step in the return to the patient’s previous life, however, is often a path strewn with obstacles. Undergoing significant health challenges can change a person’s outlook. It is common for former patients to realize that their job is no longer relevant to them and to decide on a career change.

A booklet is given to patients at the end of treatment, addressing all the issues to be dealt with before returning to work. Aside from giving useful advice, it also presents all the available solutions for a smooth return to work as well as testimony from former patients.

Information meetings are regularly held at the Maison des Patients, located at the Institut Curie site at Saint-Cloud.

 

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