Journey Forward™, a combined effort of NCCS, WellPoint, Inc., the UCLA Cancer Survivorship Center, Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) and Genentech that promotes the use of treatment summaries and follow-up plans that give clear steps for care and monitoring after active cancer treatment.
Journey Forward’s custom-made Survivorship Care Plan Builder is available for use by any oncologist. In addition, Journey Forward offers an electronic Medical History Builder where patients can record their health history in a format that makes changes easy and avoids the need to fill out medical history forms repeatedly.
These plans can help survivors and their loved ones understand their cancer treatment and follow-up needs. They put survivors in a better position to advocate for themselves, monitor their health, and participate in decisions about their future care – not just their cancer treatment and its side effects, but also their social and emotional needs. Cancer care plans are an essential component of quality cancer care.
The Journey Forward program was inspired by recommendations in the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) November 2005 report on adult cancer survivorship, “Lost in Transition: From Cancer Patient to Cancer Survivor,” which concluded that there is currently no system of coordinated follow-up care for cancer survivors in the United States. Upon completing treatment, many cancer survivors are left with questions, such as “What’s next? Who is in charge of my care now? How do I know if my cancer returns? What should I look for? What should my other doctors know about my cancer?”