Being diagnosed with cancer is scary. There are so many appointments to make, doctors to see, and treatments to consider. While a majority of women who had been diagnosed with breast cancer regularly attend their follow-up appointments, 21% of women who had early stage cancer seemed to stop going to their doctors for follow-up care after their breast-conserving surgeries. A study conducted by researchers at Columbia University in January of this year reports that of the 30,000 patients enrolled in their study, about 86% of them saw a medical oncologist and about 72% saw a radiation oncologist in the first year after diagnosis. However, in the course of 5 years, over 6,000 of those patients stopped going to their follow-up visits. It was also found that as age increased, discontinuation of appointments also increased.
It is important to attend follow-up visits because, during these exams, doctors are evaluating the patients for recurrence and the development of new tumors. In addition, oncologists want to confirm that the patient is doing other activities to prevent cancer. The American Society of Clinical Oncology states that if someone has been diagnosed with cancer, they should have an exam every 3-6 months for 3 years after they have been diagnosed.
Having a survivorship plan is crucial to good health. This plan includes information about their treatment and how the patient should maintain their health. In addition, it should include information about which doctors should be seen. Please encourage your loved ones to make follow-up appointments with their doctors. And, if you are interested in scheduling a mammogram, please set up an appointment with us at your earliest convenience. We are here to help!
We are fortunate to have the El Camino Cancer Center, a nationally recognized program that continually performs at above national standards. Aside from our community’s world-class cancer specialists, the El Camino Cancer Center has a successful Survivorship Program to ensure ongoing follow up for our survivors!
El Camino Women’s Medical Group offers the latest Minimally Invasive Solutions for gynecologic problems. Drs. Amy Teng, Erika Balassiano, and Pooja Gupta, all members of AAGL (American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopy) are highly trained and experienced in the field of Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery. Dr. Erika Balassiano has also completed a Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery Fellowship, under the supervision of world-renowned Dr. Camran Nezhat.
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