For many patients with early-stage breast cancer who have been accustomed to the security from frequent physician visits, as required during the delivery of primary breast cancer therapy including surgery, radiation and systemic adjuvant therapy, the transition to routine follow-up care can be especially anxiety-provoking. In the United States, there are over two million breast cancer survivors, and between 1975 and 2003, there continued an upward trend in 5-year relative survival rates for female breast cancer, reaching 89%. This underscores the need to deliver cost-effective follow-up care to breast cancer patients, as guided by evidence-based medicine. Such care should incorporate interventions based on their potential beneficial effects on relieving patient symptoms and improving survival, while balancing potential detrimental effects on patient quality of life/anxiety when, for example, select interventions have shown no health benefits. This chapter outlines follow-up strategies after acute treatment for breast cancer has ended.
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