Extended stage begins when and if the patient responds to treatment. Patients and caregivers may feel positive, yet uncertain. Fear of recurrence is often present. Recovery focuses on the physical, emotional, and psychological effects of treatment. Emotions can be varied and extreme. Medical services are no longer needed on a regular basis. Patients and their families usually rely on community and peer networks for support.
If you need help during this stage, reach out to your medical team, support team and non-profit organizations specializing in this area. See our resource section.
Permanent stage refers to the long-term stage of survival when a level of confidence for health and life returns to the person affected by cancer. Recovery is celebrated. At the same time, survivors must manage the long-term physical and psychological effects of the disease. Survivors may require continued care by specialists with knowledge about long-term and late effects of their disease and its treatments.
- For Children who have parents undergoing cancer treatment go to Kids Konnected at: www.kidskonnected.org
- The Wellness Community is a nonprofit that provides free emotional support, education and hope for people with cancer and their loved ones. Go to www.thewellnesscommunity.org .
- CR is a new magazine published by the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR). CR magazine connects all groups of people who are personally affected by cancer, caring for patients and working toward preventing and curing the disease. They also have free podcasts that explore the unique issues facing survivors. Go to www.crmagazine.org .
Is there a Fourth Cancer Survivorship Stage?
Dr. Mullan published his essay about three stages of cancer survivorship in 1985. Since then, there are an increasing number of long-term survivors. This may be a difficult transition period as you are no longer receiving treatment and may feel as if you are not doing anything to keep well. In some of these individuals, cancer has come to be looked upon as a chronic disease. As a result, CISN would like to suggest the inclusion of a fourth survivorship stage.