Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) survivors face substantially elevated risks of breast cancer and cardiovascular disease. They and their physicians are often unaware of these risks and surveillance recommendations.
A prospective one-arm study was conducted among a random sample of 72 HL survivors, ages 27 to 55, participating in the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study (CCSS) who were at increased risk for breast cancer and/or cardiomyopathy and had not had a screening mammogram or echocardiogram, respectively, within the prior two years. A one-page survivorship care plan with recommendations for surveillance was mailed to participants. In addition, survivors’ primary physicians were contacted and provided patient-specific information and a web-based Virtual Information Center was made available for both survivors and physicians. Outcomes were assessed by telephone six months after the intervention.
The survivor participation (62/72; 86%) and six-month retention (56/61; 92%) rates were high. Tension and anxiety, measured by the Profile of Mood States, did not increase following risk notification; 91% of survivors described their reactions to receiving the information in positive terms. At six months, 41% of survivors reported having completed the recommended mammogram; 20% reported having an echocardiogram (females 30%, males 10%). Only 29% of survivors visited the website. Nine physicians enrolled, and none used the study resources.
A mailed, personalized survivorship care plan was effective in communicating risk and increasing compliance with recommended medical surveillance. Internet- and telephone-based strategies to communicate risk were not utilized by survivors or physicians.