The number of cancer survivors in the United States is at an all-time high—11.7 million—nearly quadruple the number of survivors from 40 years ago, according to the latest government statistics. UChicago Medicine has a number of survivorship clinics and services to help cancer survivors and their families lead quality lives:
Comprehensive Cancer Risk and Prevention Clinic
The Comprehensive Cancer Risk and Prevention Clinic, directed by Olufunmilayo Olopade, MBBS, helps individuals with a high cancer risk develop a plan to address and lower these risks. The Cancer Risk Clinic provides comprehensive risk assessment, genetic testing, and personalized health planning.
Childhood Cancer Survivors Center
More than 70% of patients survive childhood cancers; however, these survivors can sometimes have complex and long-term health issues due to their treatment plans. Directed by Tara Henderson, MD, MPH, the Childhood Cancer Survivors Center was created to address the needs of these patients. Some of the health problems cancer survivors may face include heart problems, endocrine disorders, renal problems, dental problems, fertility issues, and secondary cancers. (See article in Pathways, Winter 2011.)
Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology Program
The Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology Program delivers specialized care for adolescents and young adults between the ages of 15 and 30. This age group often confronts different personal, psychosocial and medical challenges than younger children and older adults with the same diagnosis. The Program offers coordinated care from a team of hematologists/oncologists, dedicated nurse practitioners, and social workers who frequently collaborate with experts across multiple disciplines.
Psycho-oncology is a cancer specialty that deals with the emotional and psychological needs and symptoms of patients with cancer and the stresses on their loved ones.The Psycho-Oncology Clinic at The University of Chicago provides evaluation, treatment, and referral for patients who develop psychiatric symptoms in the context of co-morbid cancer diagnosis or treatment. Referrals are accepted for all patients receiving cancer services at the University of Chicago. Pharmacological, psychological, and social treatments are available for patients with mood and anxiety disorders, psychosis, and neurocognitive effects of treatment.
Program in Integrative Sexual Medicine (PRISM)
This program, directed by Stacy Tessler Lindau, MD, is designed to identify, prevent, and treat sexual health problems in female cancer patients and survivors. PRISM helps women and girls learn about, prepare for, and cope with sexual health concerns related to cancer symptoms or treatment, including understanding the effects of cancer on reproductive organs; physical pain with intercourse, tampon use, Pap smear and/or pelvic exam; maintenance or recovery of sexual function during and after cancer treatment, including difficulty lubricating, lack of interest or pleasure, and difficulty experiencing orgasm; uncertainty about gender or sexual orientation; and anxiety about current or future sexual activity.
At the University of Chicago, social workers play an integral role in providing the best possible care for every patient during his or her hospital stay and outpatient treatment. Social workers are available to assist patients and their families by offering counseling and support, to help patients understand a medical condition and the impact it will have, provide access to appropriate resources, offer assistance in planning for ongoing care needs in anticipation of discharge, and provide crisis intervention and assessment of personal safety needs.
Specialized Oncology Care & Research in the Elderly (SOCARE) Clinic
The SOCARE clinic addresses the specific care needs of elderly cancer patients and survivors. Directed by William Dale, MD, PhD, the SOCARE clinic is unique in Chicago and is staffed by board-certified physicians with expertise in geriatric medicine, geriatric oncology, and palliative care.