Stoddard Survivorship Program
There are now more than 17 million cancer survivors in the United States and even though many of those patients are in remission, cancer survivorship continues to be an important part of the cancer journey. John Stoddard Cancer Center, a service of UnityPoint Health - Des Moines, has brought together a team of experts and community resources to offer cancer patients the support they need the following treatment.
Survivorship is defined by the National Cancer Institute as the physical, psychosocial, and economic issues of cancer, from diagnosis until the end of life. It focuses on the health and life of a person with cancer beyond the diagnosis and treatment phases. Survivorship includes issues related to the ability to get health care and follow-up treatment, late effects of treatment, second cancers, and quality of life. Family members, friends, and caregivers are also part of the survivorship experience. The following survivorship programs have been developed at Stoddard:
- John Stoddard Survivorship Interview - This session is offered to cancer survivors who have completed cancer therapy and are now looking forward to maintaining a healthy and fulfilling life beyond cancer. The interview is a one time visit with an oncology certified nurse who will review with you what treatments you received and their long-term side effects, your care plan for health promotion and maintenance, and review with you any concerns that you have now that you are done with therapy that affects your quality of life (i.e.: financial concerns, emotional concerns, nutritional concerns). This session is for patients who have completed their cancer therapy and have been referred by their physician or self-referred.
- LiveWell at the Y - This program promotes the participation of cancer survivors in exercise and wellness activities. We have partnered with the YMCA to offer a 12-week free membership to YMCA's in the Des Moines area. Any cancer survivor interested in the 12-week program will need to have a physician's referral to begin. Please talk with your physician if you are interested in learning more about this program.
- Support Groups - Stoddard offers many support groups to patients and families who wish to share their feelings with others who will understand. We believe that a caring, supportive environment is important for the mental well-being of the patients, survivors, and caregivers.
- Other resources - John Stoddard offers a number of services and resources to our cancer patients that are available before, during and after treatment, including psychological counseling, nutritional counseling, financial counseling, help with preparation of advanced directives, Child Life counseling in partnership with Blank Children's Hospital, and pastoral care.
What are patients saying about the program?
- "I was able to talk about things that I have not shared with anyone else."
- "This session made many things clear for me. Helped me to learn about the options that are available to me."
- "There were so many things about survivorship that I hadn't considered that they helped to educate me about."
For more information on these programs, talk with your physician or give us a call at (515) 241-3399.