Keeping the Faith – Breast Cancer Survivors Partner with Caregivers to Stay Healthy

Today’s breast cancer survivors are partnering with their health care team in order to live life to the fullest while lessening the chance of recurrence. Patients need to be monitored for the rest of their lives, said Stanley E. Waintraub, M.D., FACP, division chief of Breast Oncology and Hematology at John Theurer Cancer Center. “We’ve always felt patients can relapse at 20, 30 years, and it’s true.” One important part of follow-up will be a blood test to look for an elevated cancer marker, said Dr. Waintraub. “If a person has an elevated cancer marker, it might reflect a recurrence.” Choose Prevention: The overall health of the patient is an important factor, too. “People who present healthy will usually do better,” said Dr. Waintraub. Patients are advised to keep on top of their primary care provider’s recommendations for wellness and prevention, including important screenings such as PAP smears and colonoscopies.