Symptom Clusters in Cancer Survivors: Healing and recovery through impeccable assessment and interdisciplinary care

Sangeeta Agarawal san@helpsyhealth.com

Abstract

Individuals with cancer, from diagnosis, through treatment, and into survivorship or advanced disease, may develop cancer-related or treatment-related side effects and associated symptoms. These symptoms can be interrelated, fluctuating in severity throughout treatment.

Symptoms may improve either as a result of effective symptom management and/or opportunities for healing and recovery. For example, if a patient is experiencing uncontrolled pain, they may have associated symptoms of depression, fatigue, and insomnia. Consequently, optimization of pain management can lead to improvements in associated symptoms. However, some cancer-related and treatment-related side effects may persist beyond the period of active treatment, leading to negative effects on quality of life and possibly detrimental effects on treatment outcomes.

As providers, we need to recognize the prevalence of symptom clusters in cancer survivors and the need to develop a holistic, comprehensive plan for addressing symptoms as a whole rather than each symptom individually. Speaker Sangeeta Agarawal, an oncology nurse and digital health entrepreneur with an integrative medicine background, will discuss the current issues that cancer patients and survivors face and the steps they can take to find reliable, effective care for persistent symptoms, whether physical or psychosocial. She will also present current research findings which demonstrate the effectiveness of certain health systems and therapies in addressing cancer-related symptoms.
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