Caring for the breast cancer survivor's health and wellbeing

Petra M. Casey, Stephanie S. Faubion, Kathy L. MacLaughlin, Margaret E. Long, Sandhya Pruthi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The breast cancer care continuum entails detection, diagnosis, treatment, and survivorship. During this time, focus on the whole woman and medical concerns beyond the breast cancer diagnosis itself is essential. In this comprehensive review, we critically review and evaluate recent evidence regarding several topics pertinent to and specific for the woman living with a prior history of breast cancer. More specifically, we discuss the most recent recommendations for contraceptive options including long-acting reversible contraception and emergency contraception, fertility and pregnancy considerations during and after breast cancer treatment, management of menopausal vasomotors symptoms and vulvovaginal atrophy which often occurs even in young women during treatment for breast cancer. The need to directly query the patient about these concerns is emphasized. Our focus is on non-systemic hormones and non-hormonal options. Our holistic approach to the care of the breast cancer survivor includes such preventive health issues as sexual and bone health,which are important in optimizing quality of life. We also discuss strategies for breast cancer recurrence surveillance in the setting of a prior breast cancer diagnosis. This review is intended for primary care practitioners as well as specialists caring for female breast cancer survivors and includes key points for evidence-based best practice recommendations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)693-704
Number of pages12
JournalWorld Journal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 10 2014


  • Breast cancer
  • Breast cancer recurrence
  • Breast cancer surveillance
  • Contraception
  • Osteopenia
  • Osteoporosis
  • Sexual health
  • Vasomotor symptoms
  • Vulvovaginal atrophy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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