While the number of new cancer cases is expected to increase with the growth and aging of the U.S. population, people are living longer with cancer. This means that cancer, once viewed as a fatal disease, has for many become a chronic disease to be managed. However, many people who survive cancer report that while much information and support was available during their illness, once treatment stopped, they entered a new world, mostly filled with questions. To help answer some of those questions the National Cancer Institute has developed the Facing Forward series. Dr. Julia Rowland, Director of the National Cancer Institute's Office of Cancer Survivorship, explains:
"The Facing Forward series is designed to help educate survivors and their family members about what to expect following treatment. And the first booklet in that series, which is called "Life After Cancer Treatment," really goes through many of the kinds of issues that are faced by survivors. And that's from some very basic information about what's the followup? What kind of doctor's visits will I have once treatment ends? Are there any signs or symptoms I need to be monitoring to see if the cancers coming back? And then some very practical concerns. How do I manage the fear of recurrence? How long will this sense of fatigue that I have because of my treatments last? What we hope is that in this volume we're addressing many questions that are commonly encountered by patients and their family members and often are questions that are left unaddressed."
Call the National Cancer Institute's Cancer Information Service at 1-800-4-CANCER to request a free copy of the "Facing Forward: Life After Cancer Treatment" booklet or view it online at www.cancer.gov. This is Calvin Jackson, the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland.