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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 five years, many doctors will say you are "cured," or have no evidence of disease, since most cancers that come back do so within five 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.

For MSK and Non-MSK Patients

  • Resources for Survivors page that includes frequently asked questions regarding follow-up treatment, emotional care, healthy living, and more.
  • Physical Effects of cancer and cancer therapies, including chronic pain and 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 includes selected meetings and discussions on a variety of topics designed to help cancer survivors adjust to life after cancer treatment.

Living Beyond Cancer

Care for Older Patients

  • MSK also has a special support program for our older cancer patients and their families, as cancer diagnoses in older patients present with unique challenges, including increased risk of adverse events, financial burdens, and caregiver stress.
  • The Cancer and Aging Interprofessional Team offers specialized services for patients over 65. The team includes oncologists, geriatricians, nurses, social workers, nutritionists, psychiatrists, pharmacists, and members of the Rehabilitation Department and the Supportive Care Service.

American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO): Living with Cancer While Receiving Long-Term Treatment

  • Non-MSK site that provides many resources for living with and beyond cancer, including Rehabilitation.

MSK Survivorship Programs

As a cancer patient at MSK, 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
    • For patients who were diagnosed as adults.
    • This program offers comprehensive services to patients who have completed treatment, including cancer screenings and overall health and wellness.
  • MSK Kids: Adult Survivors of Childhood Cancer
    • 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.
  • MSK Kids: Long-Term Follow-Up Care for Childhood Cancer Survivors
    • 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 at MSK

Survivorship research includes studying the long-term side effects of cancer treatment and surveillance for second cancers, the delivery of care, and how primary care and cancer care can work together. The following include MSK studies, publications, and grant winners in this field.

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. Visit MSK's Subscription Preference Center to get the latest issue of our newsletter for survivors by survivors.

Visible Ink

The Visible Ink writing 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) thanks to grants and donations.
  • To participate, please contact Judith Kelman, Founder and Executive Director, at or 212-535-3985.

Programs & Events for Survivors

View our calendar of upcoming seminars, support group 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.