Chapter 98

Breast cancer survivors number more than 2,000,000 in the United States alone.1 Improvements in screening technology, increased uptake of screening, and advances in adjuvant therapy2 as well as the aging of the population are bound to lead to even greater numbers of breast cancer survivors over time. The Institute of Medicine report entitled From Cancer Patient to Cancer Survivor: Lost in Transition reported on the health, psychosocial, family, employment, and financial needs of survivors of cancer and provided recommendations for improving the quality of care and health outcomes of cancer survivors.3 Follow-up of the breast cancer survivor is one important aspect of survivorship care.

As described in preceding chapters, multimodality therapy of breast cancer is associated with acute side effects such as postoperative pain, skin toxicity from radiation, fatigue, alopecia, and anemia related to chemotherapy. As people recover from these effects, new issues requiring attention may arise (Table 98-1). The long-term and late effects of cancer and its treatment are addressed in other chapters of this section.

Table 98-1 Examples of Long-Term and Late Issues Among Breast Cancer Survivors

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