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Surviving Cancer, Embracing Life

If you’re among the growing ranks of cancer survivors in the United States, you may face challenges adjusting to life a er cancer once you’ve completed your treatment. The good news: El Camino Hospital has a wide array of programs and services specifically designed with you in mind.

“Our goal is to provide coordinated care and help cancer survivors feel supported,” says Larisa Peralta, NP, APRN, FNP, OCN, coordinator of El Camino Hospital’s survivorship program. The clinic is located in the hospital’s Cancer Center and serves all patients being treated there as well as in Radiation Oncology. “Patients have a lot of concerns to manage physical, emotional, spiritual, financial, and more. They may be dealing with side effects of their treatment, fear of recurrence, or adjusting to physical limitations or issues with intimacy. Our clinic is the place where people can consult experts and get help finding answers that meet their needs.”

In addition to Peralta, survivorship staff includes oncologists, a dedicated social worker, and a nurse practitioner. Patients can also access other resources at El Camino Hospital, including the Cancer Center’s oncology-certified nutritionist, and receive referrals to community organizations, including the American Cancer Society and Cancer CAREpoint. Support groups, open to the community, are available too, including separate groups for cancer survivors, caregivers, and families with young children (facilitated by a therapist).

“Life gives us second chances, and our program is one to take advantage of,” says Peralta. “We’re helping patients learn from their experiences and make it a new beginning.”

This article first appeared in the Spring 2016 edition of the El Camino Hospital Health Beat magazine.

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