Survivors of breast cancer should resume regular health care maintenance visits with a primary care provider “sooner rather than later,” according to Gijsberta van Londen, MD, MSc, of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Cancer Center.
“Cancer survivors are living longer and longer after their cancer diagnosis,” Van Londen said, which makes it “very important” to attend to general health care.
PCPs can also help cancer patients restart, and maintain, healthy lifestyle habits, which may be hampered by challenges like stress and nicotine and alcohol use, according to Van Londen.
“I usually tell my cancer survivors – ‘Yes, it is important to pursue a healthy lifestyle,’” she said. “But lifestyle is not the only thing that will affect your outcomes. Not everybody is a marathon runner. Every bit of improvement is an improvement.”