By David Glick
The days and weeks following the end of breast cancer treatment can stretch into years — a lifetime of vacations, family reunions, work routines and new experiences. Despite the passage of time, though, one lingering question often remains in the minds of survivors.
|Nurse practitioner Helene Zonder, left, meets with patient Lori Baughman in the breast cancer survivorship clinic. (Photo by p.cunningham)|
Will I be OK?
Now City of Hope is helping breast cancer survivors tackle that question with confidence, through the efforts of oncologists, nurse practitioners and other professionals at the new Breast Cancer Survivorship Clinic.
The clinic is the second at City of Hope for survivors of adult cancers; a clinic for prostate cancer survivors opened in 2008.
Patients can turn to these clinics within the Center for Cancer Survivorship to gather answers to their questions, allay their fears and receive roadmaps to a healthy life.
Opened to patients last summer, the Breast Cancer Survivorship Clinic provides specialized follow-up care focused on patients’ unique health needs in a clinical research setting.
The program aims to keep each survivor as healthy as possible, preventing problems such as osteoporosis, weight gain and other issues common after breast cancer treatment, or catching problems early, when they are most easily treated.
The clinic also provides a platform for research on the long-term effects of breast cancer treatment. Each patient is invited to participate in the clinic’s research program, so future cancer survivors can benefit from the lessons learned.
To seek ongoing care through the Breast Cancer Survivorship Clinic, women must have had a diagnosis of breast cancer and received at least part of their treatment at City of Hope.
For other eligibility requirements and information about the Center for Cancer Survivorship and the breast and prostate cancer survivorship clinics, call 626-471-7341 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
A follow-up plan for the long run
Patients participating in the Breast Cancer Survivorship Clinic receive these services:
- Monitoring for long-term effects of breast cancer treatment
- Referral for management of any identified problems, if needed
- A survivorship care plan that includes:
- a personalized record of the details of cancer treatment
- guidelines for continued monitoring
- recommendations for preventive care and information about resources and services