Breast cancer survivors: Guidelines for follow-up care

Mary Cianfrocca*, William J. Gradishar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The follow-up of breast cancer survivors focuses on detecting recurrences or second primary malignancies and managing the complications of therapy. The probability of recurrence is directly related to the initial extent of disease, as assessed by nodal involvement and tumor size. Ovarian failure is one of the most common complications of cytotoxic therapy and varies with the patient's age and the cytotoxic regimen. The associated menopausal symptoms may he treated with estrogen replacement therapy; a combination of belladonna, phenobarbital, and ergotamine; low-dose megestrol acetate; or transdermal or oral clonidine. Another complication to watch for is lymphedema, which can begin insidiously as a mild swelling and progress to serious disfigurement; risk factors include the extent of axillary dissection and axillary radiotherapy. In addition to reducing the risk of a second primary cancer, tamoxifen has been found to prevent bone loss in postmenopausal women and is associated with an improved lipid profile.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1734-1745
Number of pages12
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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