To help doctors provide their patients with the highest quality care, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) provides recommendations for follow-up care for women who have received treatment for breast cancer. This article combines recommendations updated in 2012 by ASCO and recommendations from ASCO and the American Cancer Society (ACS) developed in 2015.
Many women are relieved or excited to be finished with breast cancer treatment. But it can also be a time of worry for women who fear their cancer could come back, or who feel lost without the same frequency of visits with their cancer care team.
General Information about Late Effects
Late effects are health problems that occur months or years after treatment has ended.
Late effects in childhood cancer survivors affect the body and mind.
There are three important factors that affect the risk of late effects.
The chance of having late effects increases over time.
Regular follow-up care is very important for survivors of childhood cancer.
Good health habits are also important for survivors of childhood cancer.
Cancer treatments and cancer can cause side effects. Side effects are problems that occur when treatment affects healthy tissues or organs. Speak up about any side effects you have, or changes you notice, so your health care team can treat or help you to reduce these side effects.
Learn about steps you can take to prevent or manage the side effects listed below:
Today, because of advances in treatment, more than 8 out of 10 children treated for cancer survive at least 5 years, and most of these children are cured. But the treatments that help these children survive their cancer can also cause health problems later on.
For some people with bladder cancer, treatment can remove or destroy the cancer. Completing treatment can be both stressful and exciting. You may be relieved to finish treatment, but find it hard not to worry about cancer coming back. This is very common if you’ve had cancer.
For many people with colorectal cancer, treatment may remove or destroy the cancer. The end of treatment can be both stressful and exciting. You’ll be relieved to finish treatment, yet it’s hard not to worry about cancer coming back. This is very common if you’ve had cancer.
For other people, colorectal cancer may never go away completely. Some people may get regular treatment with chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or other treatments to try to help keep the cancer in check. Learning to live with cancer that does not go away can be difficult and very stressful.
Having cancer affects your emotional health
A cancer diagnosis can have a huge impact on most patients, families, and caregivers. Feelings of depression, anxiety, and fear are very common and are normal responses to this life-changing experience.
Excerpted from Eating Hints: Before, During, and After Cancer.
People with Cancer Have Different Diet Needs
People with cancer often need to follow diets that are different from what you think of as healthy. For most people, a healthy diet includes:
Like other cancer treatments, radiation may cause unpleasant side effects, such as overall fatigue, skin irritation, and other side effects depending on the part of the body being treated.
Every person reacts differently to treatment. Any side effects you might have depend on the type of cancer, location, dose of radiation, and your general health. Some people have no side effects at all, while others have quite a few. There’s no way to know who might have side effects. Before treatment, ask your cancer care team what you might expect.