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Implications for practice and research nursing practice
▪ Follow-up and aftercare services for people affected by colorectal cancer should place more emphasis on aspects of patient needs (such as quality of life, lifestyle advice, psychosocial issues, information needs and self-management) in making the transition into the survivorship period. Nurses have a key role to play in this.
▪ Nurse-led models of follow-up may be favourable in providing information tailored towards patient needs and outcomes; more research is needed in this area to determine feasibility, acceptability and impact on outcomes.
Follow-up is typically the phase in which people affected by cancer enter on completion of primary treatment. There is considerable variation in models of follow-up, dependent on cancer type, clinician preferences and local guidelines. For people affected by colorectal cancer, this usually involves hospital outpatient review at regular, but decreasing, intervals over a period of several years and typically involves investigations such as blood tests, CT scans and colonoscopies. The primary purpose of follow-up is aimed towards disease surveillance, in the hope that early detection and treatment of metastatic disease will lead to improved survival. …
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