New Guidelines For Breast Cancer Survivorship Care
The American Cancer Society/American Society of Clinical Oncology have just published new breast cancer survivorship care plan guidelines. The purpose of this guide is to provide recommendations to enhance the quality of clinical follow-up care for those who have completed initial treatment for breast cancer. After treatment for breast cancer, follow-up care is important to help maintain good health, manage any side effects from treatment, watch for signs that the cancer has come back after treatment, and screen for other types of cancer. While many evidence-based clinical guidelines exist for diagnosis and treatment, there are few evidence-based clinical care guidelines addressing life-long follow-up care for survivors by cancer type. Most patients remain at risk indefinitely for local and/or systemic recurrence of their breast cancer and for complications of their previous cancer treatment.
Below are summary charts of recommendations. Click on image to enlarge. You can read the full guide here.
1. Surveillance for Breast Cancer Recurrence
2. Screening For Second Primary Cancers
3. Physical and Psycho-Social Long-Term and Late Effects of Treatment
4. Health Promotion
5. Care Coordination and Practice Implications
These guidelines seem pretty comprehensive to me. I can see so many areas that were never addressed in my case after treatment ended – well actually, none of these issues were addressed! How about you? What do you think of these guidelines? Is there anything missing that should have been included? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
I agree they are very comprehensive. I feel that I made sure these issues were addressed in my case. Breast cancer was my second cancer diagnosis and at the time of my diagnosis I made a point to make sure cancer did suck more time out of my life and to be proactive in my care. I wanted to focus on me and make sure my needs were met. I looked for support groups right away, I did a lot of research and made sure my emotional needs were being met as well as my physical needs. But it would have been nice if it had been planned for me, instead of originated by me.
Wow Caroline – that’s really great – well obviously it’s not great you are in this situation – but great to hear how you took control of things this way
Thank you for sharing this. Because I have the ATM gene I need to have mammo and MRIs every year. I tried to stop my hospital from doing mammos every year since I am already getting an MRI but they said NO WAY JOSE! Apparently mammograms are the primary tests and they never get rid of it. For me, they would remove the MRI except my breasts are dense, and the recommendation for ATM people like me, is to have the MRI no matter what. To be honest, I fear getting a mammo every year. Not to mention all the time I lose with all these appts. A lot to think about for me.
It’s really confusing Rebecca when we hear such conflicting advice. I try to base my decisions on evidence based medicine as much as possible.
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Great info… I do wish that they encouraged participation in rehabilitation post-operatively a bit more. It is so important to restore range of motion, work on scar tissue, exercise including strengthening/weight training, education about lymphedema precautions and what to do to prevent it.