This article was originally published here
Cancer Control. 2021 Jan-Dec;28:10732748211006081. doi: 10.1177/10732748211006081.
Although the number of gastrointestinal (GI) cancer survivors is projected to increase in the coming years, there are currently no survivorship care models that address the specific and growing needs of this population. Current survivorship care models were evaluated to assess their suitability for GI cancer survivors. A survivorship care model based on foundational wellness principles is under development to address the specific needs of GI cancer survivors. This model delivers a cohesive and collaborative care continuum for survivors of different GI malignancies. Oncology providers in GI departments and internal medicine providers in survivorship programs are positioned to provide a comprehensive approach for the care of patients treated with curative intent. Survivorship care is introduced at the conclusion of active treatment in the form of an Onco-wellness consultation, an in-person or telemedicine comprehensive care plan creation and review by our Survivorship Program. Personalized care plan including long term and late effects of treatment, nutrition, physical activity and rehabilitation recommendations, prevention of secondary malignancies and psychosocial needs are reviewed. As patients transition from active treatment to survivorship within the GI Program, the GI Advance Practice Professionals (APPs) are well-positioned to deliver comprehensive survivorship care specific to the GI patient’s needs while integrating recommendations and principles from the Onco-wellness consultation. With projected shortages of both oncology and primary care physicians, such an APP-based model has the potential to bridge gaps in the survivorship care continuum and mutually benefit patients and physicians.