Supportive Care for Current and Past Patients
To make an appointment with Dr. Decker, please call 805.346.3456.
When a patient is undergoing cancer treatment, the goal is often to finish treatment and return to a cancer free life as soon as possible. However, the conclusion of active treatment may bring additional unforeseen challenges. For example, many cancer patients report feeling lost or abandoned at the conclusion of their active treatment. Since cancer survivors have a complex and diverse set of needs, an exciting new program has been developed at Mission Hope Cancer Center to focus on providing for the long term needs of patients completing curative treatment. Joining Mission Hope as Director of the Survivorship and Supportive Care program is Cheryl Decker, MD, FACEP.
Patients completing their cancer treatment will meet with Dr. Decker to receive a formal survivorship plan. The survivorship plan explains future cancer surveillance and provides notification of screening tests, maintenance specialist visits and genetic cancer risk. Cancer survivors are interested in preventing recurrence of their cancer and the personal survivorship plan addresses their concern.
When the cancer disease treatment has been curative, many patients are left with the “dis-ease” created by their surgery, chemotherapy, radiation or hormone interventions. Life after cancer is often characterized by a gradual recovery from or adaptation to the side effects of their cancer treatments. Quality of life is impacted by fatigue, depression, neuropathies and the adverse effects of estrogen or testosterone deprivation. Some symptoms may remain after cancer treatment such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness, intimacy issues and some adverse effects may develop years later, such as osteoporosis, heart disease, or lymphedema.
Dr. Decker is committed to providing the supportive symptomatic care that cancer patients need for the long term. She is not replacing a cancer patient’s primary physician but is instead a resource for cancer specific questions and cancer treatment side effects for any Mission Hope Cancer patient, at any time. Cancer patients in all stages of their cancer journey can join the program to benefit from the many services we offer. This includes those who haven’t yet started cancer treatment as well as patients currently undergoing treatment. Even long after completion of cancer therapy, people can continue to benefit from our survivorship and supportive care program.
It is the goal of Mission Hope to always be a haven of care for our present and our past cancer patients. For more information or to make an appointment, please call 805.346.3456