Long Term Survival


Anchor lead: What happens to women five to ten years after they complete breast cancer treatment? Elizabeth Tracey reports

Surviving breast cancer is a wonderful outcome, yet a new study shows that many other health issues are more likely to pop up several years later. William Nelson, director of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, describes the results.

Nelson: As you got out five to ten years or even after ten years what you found was a greater fraction of women being threatened by cardiovascular diseases. There’s even an excess, compared to the general population, of chronic diseases. Dementia syndromes like Alzheimer’s become a bigger challenge. And I think what this means is you care for women who’ve had breast cancer, over time, to help them with cardiovascular diseases, with dementia, with chronic liver disease, trying to figure out what the cause of it is, is it a result, at least in some part, from chemotherapy administration. We need to figure these things out.  :33

Nelson says a lot of current research is devoted to looking at these survivorship issues. For now he says women should work in partnership with their primary care provider to remain vigilant. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.