Breast Cancer Survivorship: Patient Characteristics and Plans for High-Quality Care

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The number of breast cancer survivors has increased and this increase is expected to continue, likely as a result of population and age growth, the implementation of earlier detection strategies, and the development of more effective therapies. Breast cancer treatment requires a multidisciplinary approach with surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, and hormonal therapy. Breast cancer survivors may develop various long-term adverse effects from these therapies. Care of the survivor may transition eventually to the primary care physician. Survivorship care plans have been developed to facilitate care transition, guide the content and coordination of posttreatment care, and engender greater self-management of health by cancer survivors. Guidelines for posttreatment follow-up care are discussed in this article, and interventions that patients may practice to promote a healthy lifestyle also are presented.

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