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Women & Infants Breast Health Center Launches Survivor Clinic

Saturday, February 02, 2013

 

Advancements in diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer mean that more women are surviving the disease to live long and healthy lives. Sometimes, however, survivorship can feel as daunting as the actual fight against breast cancer. Women are left feeling anxious about reoccurrence, conscious about changes in their bodies, or just tired.

The Breast Health Center at Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island has created a Survivorship Clinic as a new resource for addressing the journey of survival. The goal is to empower cancer survivors to protect and enhance their quality of life and health going forward.

“Breast cancer survivors have a variety of unique concerns – medical, social and emotional worries that a regular woman does not have to grapple with,” explains Robert D. Legare, director of the Breast Health Center. “As part of our dedication to identifying what our patients need and providing it, we created the Survivorship Clinic to supply patients and their caregivers or family members with valuable information on support services available to them, wellness suggestions and program options, and information on cancer prevention for the future.”

Led by Megan Gaynor Charette, NP, the Clinic runs on Thursday mornings, but will be expanded to meet patient need. Breast surgeons or medical oncologists with the Breast Health Center recommend patients for the Clinic when the women have completed all of their treatment.

During a typical visit, Charette focuses on:
Any issues the patient may have had related to her breast cancer
Moving forward by giving the patient information on prevention, detection and treatment of any complications that may result from the cancer or treatment; these complications can include osteoporosis, lymphedema, menopausal symptoms, changes in fertility and sexuality or fatigue, all of which can be eased or treated through various specialty services available at Women & Infants
Using integrative therapies such as yoga and massage, offered through the Breast Health Center’s Integrative Care Program, to help relax
The value of support groups, which are offered through the Breast Health Center

The patient also receives a personalized binder containing a summary of her treatment and a care plan that describes her specific experience and provides written information on screening guidelines, nutritional and exercise information and recommendations. Patients also meet with a social worker to discuss any psychosocial fears they or their families may have.

For more information on the Survivorship Clinic in the Breast Health Center at Women & Infants, call (401) 453-7540.
 

 

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