As treatments for numerous cancer types continue to improve, an increasing number of cancer survivors are transitioning from their oncology teams back to their primary care physicians. The health care needs of these cancer survivors can vary greatly according to cancer type. To help physicians address these needs, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center offers a series of algorithms depicting best practices for the care of cancer survivors.
Currently, survivorship algorithms are available for lymphoma, germ cell testicular cancer, head and neck cancer, cutaneous melanoma, and cancers of the breast, anus, colon, rectum, bladder, kidney, penis, prostate, cervix, endometrium, ovary, and thyroid. Multiple algorithms are available for cancers with varying subtypes, such as lymphoma and head and neck cancer.
The algorithm for each cancer type was developed by a multidisciplinary work group of MD Anderson physicians with expertise in that type of cancer. The algorithms offer guidelines for surveillance to detect recurrences, monitoring for late effects of therapy, reducing the risk of recurrence, and psychological assessments for cancer survivors. With each algorithm comes a list of suggested readings for practitioners who wish to learn more about survivorship for that particular type of cancer. Separate algorithms are available for the management of bone health in survivors of breast, thyroid, and gynecologic cancers.
The survivorship algorithms, which can be downloaded as PDF files for easy printing, are available at www.mdanderson.org/education-and-research/resources-for-professionals/clinical-tools-and-resources/practice-algorithms/survivorship-algorithms.html.
“Useful Resources” is a new OncoLog column that introduces tools for community physicians and other medical professionals available free of charge on MD Anderson’s Web site.