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Patient and Health Care Consumer Education Guide: Survivorship

Guiding patients, family members, caregivers, consumers, and the larger MSK community to cancer information.

This page is for those who are curious about cancer survivorship and support for MSK and non-MSK patients.

The text "Survivorship" in white on a purple flower background.

Cancer Survivorship

Cancer Prognosis

Survivorship is not the same as a cure. As you near the end of treatment, your care team may describe your disease in several ways. Here is how to better understand what these terms mean.

  • Partial Remission (PR)
    • Partial remission means that the signs and symptoms of your cancer or disease are reduced.
  • Complete Remission (CR)
    • Complete remission means that all signs and symptoms of your cancer or disease are gone.
  • No Evidence of Disease (NED)
    • No evidence of disease means that there are no traces of disease in your body. If you are in complete remission for 5 years, many doctors will say you are "cured", or have no evidence of disease, since most cancers that come back do so within 5 years. However, there is always a small chance that your cancer could come back, even after being cleared as NED.
  • Long-Term and Late-Treatment Effects
    • These terms refer to the persistent post-treatment side effects that you may experience. Some of these can be new side effects that develop months or years after treatment is complete.
  • Recurrence or Relapse
    • These terms mean that your cancer has been detected again after completing treatment.

Resources for Survivors [for MSK and Non-MSK patients]

  • Frequently Asked Questions regarding follow-up treatment, emotional care, healthy living, and more
  • Physical Effects of cancer and cancer therapies, from chronic pain, to memory and sleep changes, can have long-lasting effects on the body
  • Work, Education, & Financial Resources for cancer patients regarding insurance, employment, finances, and scholarships
  • Videos for Survivors include selected meetings and discussions on a variety of topics designed to help cancer survivors adjust to life after cancer treatment

Living Beyond Cancer

Cancer and Aging Interprofessional Team

  • MSK also has a special support program for our older cancer patients and their families. Since cancer diagnoses in older patients present with unique challenges, including increased risk of adverse events, financial burdens, and caregiver stress.
  • Our interdisciplinary team of oncologists, geriatricians, social workers, nutritionists, pharmacists, rehabilitation, and supportive care offer specialized services for patients over 65.

Living with Cancer

MSK Survivorship Programs

As a cancer patient at MSKCC, we are with you every step of the way, including your life beyond disease. Our programs provide long-term follow-up care and comprehensive services for patients after they have completed treatment.

  • Adult Survivorship Program
    • Offers comprehensive services to patients who have completed treatment, as well as cancer screenings, and overall health and wellness.
    • This program is designed for patients who were diagnosed as adults.
  • Adult Long-Term Follow-Up Program
    • MSK Kids program designed for adults who are survivors of childhood and young-adult cancers.
    • This program focuses on the on-going medical and psychological concerns, including late effects of cancer and cancer therapies that may arise years after treatment.
  • Pediatric Long-Term Follow-Up Program
    • MSK Kids program for survivors of childhood cancer who have been off treatment for at least one to two years.
    • This program is designed for children and adolescents treated for cancer up to age 21 (transitions to the Adult Long-Term Follow-Up Program)

Survivorship Research

Survivorship research includes studying the long-term side effects of cancer treatment and surveillance for second cancers, as well as the delivery of care and how primary care and cancer care can work together.

Support for MSK Survivors

Bridges: A Newsletter for Survivors

Bridges is MSK's newsletter for survivors, offering a space for patients and their families to connect to one another to share stories of hope and challenges that highlight the cancer journey.

Visible Ink Writing Program

The Visible Ink program provides MSK patients (in treatment, post-treatment, and long-term survivorship) the opportunity to express themselves in writing with personal one-on-one support from an experienced mentor and bring a voice to their stories. These volunteer mentors have included best selling novelists, Tony and Emmy award winners, poets, journalists, and more.

  • Visible Ink is open to all patients free-of-charge throughout MSK (including all regional sites).
  • To participate, please contact Judith Kelman, Founder and Executive Director, at or 212-535-3985.

**MSK's Visible Ink is supported solely by grants and donations.

MSK Programs and Events for Survivors

View our calendar of upcoming seminars, support groups meetings, workshops, and other programming that we offer especially for MSK patients, families, and cancer survivors.

Your MSK Library Team

Want to learn more about library support?

Visit the MSK Library home page:

Reach out to MSK Library staff:

  • The line to reach our Reference team to ask a question is (212) 639-7439.
  • Visit our Ask Us page to also reach out via email or chat.


Have questions or comments? Want to add a resource?

Please use the Feedback button at the top of the page to reach out.

The content of this guide is a work in progress, and we would love to hear from you to learn:

  • What features you would like to see.
  • What information is most important to your care or the care of a loved one.