The number of breast cancer survivors is growing, thanks to early detection and more effective treatments. There are now more than 2.5 million breast cancer survivors in the United States.
Cancer survivorship care is a relatively new concept. Many survivors have ongoing physical, psychological and emotional needs, as well as other needs stemming from their previous cancer diagnosis. These needs are not routinely addressed, nor understood by everyone. Many times, survivors wish they had someone to talk to about these issues. Through cancer survivorship care, you have the opportunity to address these often unmet needs with experts.
The unique care delivered through the Breast Cancer Survivorship Clinic will help alleviate some of the stress many breast cancer survivors experience by providing the care each survivor deserves. This clinic will not replace the routine care each survivor receives from his or her oncologist or cancer team. It will simply complement this care at no extra cost.
The Breast Cancer Survivorship Program provides breast cancer survivors with holistic follow-up treatment in a healing and nurturing environment.
How the Survivorship Program Can Help You
- Transition more smoothly from the active treatment phase to the next stage of your life
- Address post-cancer treatment needs to improve your health and quality of life
- Learn how to overcome medical and psychological problems that may arise after completing your primary cancer care
- Receive a comprehensive care summary and follow-up plan
- Coordinate follow-up care among your different doctors and providers
- Share your concerns and fears
- Meet other cancer survivors and share experiences and ideas
- Participate in research projects aimed at improving quality of life for breast cancer survivors
Every patient will receive important information and will be given a record of all care received and important disease characteristics.
This record of care will include:
- Tumor type and stage
- Summary and date of treatment received
- Contact information
- Appropriate referrals to specialists and the genetic counseling clinic
- Description of appropriate cancer screening and follow-up plan
- Information on possible long-term effects of treatment and how symptoms are addressed
- Screening for psychosocial issues
Every patient will receive individual consultations and follow-up sessions to address emotional and psychological issues, including anxiety and fear of recurrence. Patients may attend stress reduction classes and learn adjustment techniques. A trained clinical psychologist from the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso Department of Psychiatry will provide this service to survivors.
A dedicated nutrition specialist will provide dietary recommendations specific to each survivor's needs. Survivors will learn how to manage these recommendations, leading to a healthier lifestyle. Patients will receive sample menus and meal planning tips, both in individual and group sessions.
Information and services are provided by Zeina Nahleh, M.D., a board certified breast cancer oncologist, and Rose Heydarian, N.P., a certified oncology nurse practitioner.