Most women diagnosed with breast cancer today have an 80-90% chance of being alive in 10 years. An improvement in survival of 2% a year over the past decade is the result of better screening and more effective treatments. However, breast cancer survivors need to be especially vigilant about their health. The Baystate Breast & Wellness Center offers the Breast Cancer Survivorship Program to provide breast cancer survivors with the tools and resources they need to live healthy lives long into the future.
How the Program Works
Before entering the Survivorship Program, you will have completed active treatment and reverted to annual visits to the Baystate Breast & Wellness Center, where the focus in on prevention and health maintenance, rather than active treatment. For many women, this begins after the five years of hormonal treatment.
The goals of the program include:
- Proper follow-up to detect local or distant recurrence and second cancers.
- Management of health issues that may be a result of treatment.
- Promotion of overall wellness.
Once a year, you will see one of the program’s nurse practitioners, who is trained in health maintenance and symptom management. During the visit, they discuss breast, heart, and bone health; avoiding weight gain; and management of menopausal symptoms without using estrogen. Your family history is updated, and a breast exam performed. When possible, you are scheduled for your annual mammogram in conjunction with your visit.
Women in the program also have access to other programs as well, including the annual Survivors’ Day Celebration and an ongoing wellness program.