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The Journey Through Cancer Survivorship: A Closer Look for National Cancer Survivors Month
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This June we’re proud to recognize National Cancer Survivors Month and help shine a light on the needs of the estimated 18.1 million cancer survivors in the United States. With numbers expected to grow to 26 million by 2040, we hope others will join the momentum in creating high-quality, comprehensive survivors’ programs that walk with people through this step of their cancer journey. 

Supporting cancer survivors has become a national priority. The National Cancer Institute, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and other agencies from the Department of Health and Human Services are launching the National Standards for Cancer Survivorship Care. We agree with their assessment that most survivors require long-term follow-up care to manage their diverse needs, and that those needs are different from other touchpoints on the cancer journey. 

In addition to supporting physical health, we need to remember that new social and emotional challenges also go hand-in-hand with the survivorship phase of the cancer journey. Returning to work is one important, but often overlooked, transition that many cancer survivors must navigate. A successful return-to-work requires support and guidance for the survivor, their colleagues, and managers. Comprehensive cancer care programs, like those we offer at Transcarent, care for people through these survivorship milestones. 

Balancing work and life as a person who has survived cancer can be complex but also rewarding. Our Members find that returning to work can offer them benefits like a better sense of stability and routine; an increased sense of purpose, identity, self-esteem; more social interactions and support; and less loneliness.  

However, many of our Members do need help managing the stress and uncertainty that’s commonly felt when evaluating how to tell managers and coworkers about their journey; the anxiety of how coworkers will treat them; and the fear of being unable to keep up physically; exposure to illness; among other concerns. 

Cancer survivors can thrive within a supportive workplace; however, many employers and managers do not have the skills or tools they need to ensure the success of this population. As the One Place for Health and Care, we’re proactively working to change this. With Transcarent Cancer Care, we provide survivors and their employers with comprehensive return-to-work support, including guidance and best practices for creating a successful work environment. We’ve developed a return-to-work checklist and collaborate closely with the employers of cancer survivors to implement an environment that’s supportive and healthy, both mentally and physically. We’re also advocating for others to join the momentum and proactively incorporate best practices into their workplaces by supporting efforts like the Working With Cancer Pledge. 

Our Oncology Nurse Navigators make sure our Members are aware of the benefits that are offered to them and help them work with their employers to create successful and personalized return-to-work plans, which may include considerations like flexible or transition scheduling. These specialized Nurse Navigators also proactively guide Members through this transition with regular check in meetings to ensure that their personalized action plan is successful and review any requested accommodations to help them be more productive, safe, and comfortable. A deep understanding of the unique needs of people surviving cancer allows our team to connect Members to the right support groups and mental health resources to support the transition into this next stage of their journey.  

At Transcarent, we believe that no one should face cancer alone and we’re here to provide the comprehensive, personalized, end-to-end care and support that takes our Members through survivorship and gets them to where they need to be. 

Authored by
June 11, 2024 - 4 MIN READ
Cancer Care
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