Increasingly, oncology practitioners are realizing that despite the "success" of cancer therapies, cancer survivors are facing previously unrecognized issues related to survivorship, including physical and psychosocial side-effects of the cancer and its treatment, second cancers, and practical and economic issues related to adjusting to life after their cancer diagnosis. In gastrointestinal cancers, traditionally, the medical and surgical oncologists charged with the care of the patient are not well-equipped to deal with these survivorship issues. At the Penn State Cancer Institute's newly formed Gastrointestinal Cancer Survivorship Clinic, we provide a full array of services to optimize care through a multi-disciplinary approach. By utilizing a multi-disciplinary model with the primary medical and surgical oncologists spearheading the survivorship initiative and psychological and pastoral support as a priority, we hope to optimize cancer survivor care and patient quality of life.
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