Sylvester launched the multidisciplinary survivorship clinic in Plantation, Florida, in early 2021 — a pilot program focused on helping breast cancer patients achieve physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
“Sylvester’s Multidisciplinary Survivorship program takes into account evidencebased interventions that we know can help cancer patients have the best possible lives,” said Carmen Calfa, M.D., a breast medical oncologist and medical co director of the Cancer Survivorship Program at Sylvester and associate director of Community Outreach at Sylvester’s Plantation clinic.
Cancer treatments affect the way patients feel, their body image, body weight, skin and nail quality, emotions, and much more. The Multidisciplinary Survivorship Clinic offers each breast cancer patient a coordinated, integrated, and personalized survivorship care plan at one location, using a multidisciplinary approach that includes a medical oncologist, nurse practitioners, exercise physiologists, nutritionists, music therapists, art therapists, and acupuncturists. “This program looks into identifying and treating the aftermath of cancer and cancer treatment,” Dr. Calfa said.
There is a need. From March to September 2021, staff at the Multidisciplinary Survivorship Clinic saw 110 patients. A survey later revealed that more than nine in 10 patients were extremely or very satisfied, and nearly all were likely to recommend the services to their friends.
Patients have commented that they are grateful for the care and concern they feel in the program. They find value in the added emphasis on nutrition, massage, exercise, social work, acupuncture, music therapy and more.
One of those patients is Annie Masi, diagnosed with breast cancer at age 42. Masi began chemotherapy within weeks of finding a lump in her breast. While Masi is in remission, she continues to engage in the free services that have kept her spirits high.
“When I was in the chemo lounge, we always had someone come in and play some instruments. Then they taught me how to use the instruments,” Masi said. “It just touched every aspect of my life.”