Cancer Survivorship

Cancer is a disease that impacts nearly everyone in some way. In fact, it is predicted by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) that in 2030 there will be 22.1 million cancer survivors in the United States or about 15% of the entire population. As treatments improve, patients with cancer will live longer. Therefore, understanding cancer survivorship is becoming increasingly important.

Survivorship programs at the CU Cancer Center 

The University of Colorado Cancer Center provides survivorship care plans (SCP) for its patients. A SCP is a document that summarizes a patient’s diagnosis, treatment, and reasons to contact their health care teams. This document describes the recommended follow-up plan and contains wellness tips and resources. It is designed to be shared with your primary care team and may be reviewed in person or via telehealth.

CU Cancer Center also providers electronic consults to health care professionals with specific questions.

Additional resources: 

  • Tactic Clinic: The Thriving After Cancer Treatment is Complete (TACTIC) Clinic strives to help those who experienced cancer during childhood receive health care as young adults. The TACTIC Clinic is located within the Internal Medicine Clinic, Anschutz Outpatient Pavilion, 5th Floor. For more information, please call 720-848-2300. 
  • Hope Survivorship Clinic: The Hope Survivorship Clinic is available for pediatric survivors. For more information, please call 720-777-5441 or 720-777-6688.
  • National Coalition for Cancer SurvivorshipCancer survivorship checklist for transitioning from active treatment into survivorship.

For general information about survivorship, please contact Carlin Callaway, DNP, at, 720-848-3931, or 720-848-4870.

The term “cancer survivorship” generally has two meanings. According to cancer.Net, the first, more traditional, definition of cancer survivorship is “having no signs of cancer after finishing treatment.” The second definition that is more commonly used today is “living with, through, and beyond cancer. This means that cancer survivorship starts at diagnosis. It includes people who receive treatment over a longer time. Their treatment can lower the chance of cancer coming back or help to keep the cancer from spreading.”

Survivorship phases

Cancer survivorship has three phases:

Acute survivorship: This phase of survivorship starts at the diagnosis and finishes when treatment is completed. Treating the cancer is the focus during this phase.

Extended survivorship: This phase begins after the patient finishes treatment and continues for the months to follow. The focus during this phase is on the side-effects of cancer and treatment.

Permanent survivorship: The last phase of survivorship focuses on the long-term side-effects of cancer and treatment. This phase begins years after the final treatment when the cancer is less likely to return.