The transition from cancer patient to cancer survivor is difficult. Cancer changes lives and its treatment and consequential side effects influence every corner of our patients’ lives. It’s understandable that distress can be considerable through all stages of the cancer continuum. These resources are links to help you lead patients toward support services that can help them navigate and ameliorate the emotional, practical, and physical challenges they face.
The American Psychosocial Oncology Society (APOS) lists the current Clinical Practice Guidelines for Psychosocial Oncology on their website. Included are the NCCN Clinical Guidelines for Distress Management, Survivorship Guidelines, and a link to the NCCN Distress Thermometer and Problem Checklist tools to use to distress level of cancer patients and survivors.
This APOS link also takes you to the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) evidence-based clinical practice guideline for managing depression and anxiety in adult patients with cancer, as well as the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Survivorship Guidelines.
ASCO Guideline for Screening, Assessment and Care of Anxiety and Depressive Symptoms in Adults with Cancer
The American Society of Clinical Oncology has established this process for adapting to other organizations’ clinical practice guidelines. This article summarizes the results of that process and presents the practice recommendations adapted from the Pan-Canadian Practice Guideline: Screening, Assessment and Care of Psychosocial Distress (Depression, Anxiety) in Adults with Cancer.
DSRT is meant to be utilized after a patient has been screened for distress (for instance, by using the NCCN Distress Thermometer and Problem List). It provides printable problem-focused tip sheets, video education, and webinars for patients to empower them with strategies for the self-management of distress. All content is free of charge to patients, caregivers, and healthcare providers.
This short video tutorial created by Penn Medicine’s OncoLink teaches how to use the Distress Screening Response Tools.
Speak Sooner™ ask questions now, live the answers program approaches the treatment and management of serious illness conversations that must begin with the patient. The Difficult Conversations Workbook (free downloadable PDF) helps patients understand and communicate their questions, concerns, and priorities so they can become more effective partners in their care.
Though we are a group of small communities, we do have some supportive care programs for individuals who are going through different phases of cancer. Blueprints of Hope’s updated list of support organizations in our region includes support groups for grief and loss, caregivers, fertility, exercise, mentoring for hereditary cancers, and those which are specific to individual types of cancers. Building a community of supportive services for cancer survivors is a work in progress, so if you don’t find something that works for your patients, please let us know.