, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp 183-192
Date: 07 Jun 2014

Follow-up of Women with Early Stage Breast Cancer

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Worldwide, there are over 6 million women with a personal history of breast cancer. Survivors may experience a range of issues as a consequence of treatment for breast cancer, including physical, emotional and psychological, and practical issues. In addition, cancer diagnosis and treatments impact on relationships, caregivers, and family members. Current follow-up care is often inadequate as women may not have the broad range of consequences adequately managed. Together with looming shortages within the health workforce, these issues present major challenges to the delivery of ideal care for survivors. This article reviews issues that may be encountered by survivors, preferences indicated by survivors and professionals regarding follow-up, and considers a broad range of models that have been examined. These models include follow-up by general practitioners (primary care physicians), nurse-led, and patient-initiated reviews. Follow-up need not be face to face or routinely scheduled. Comprehensive rehabilitation programs as well as exercise and dietary interventions may result in health benefits for breast cancer survivors.