June 12, 2019 by John Fernandez
It has been said that every cloud has a silver lining. When you’re newly diagnosed with breast cancer, “silver lining” is the furthest thing from your mind. That’s understandable, but there’s something you should know.
Thanks to early detection, targeted therapies and treatment advances, more patients are not only surviving breast cancer, they’re thriving afterward. There are currently 2.8 million breast cancer survivors in the United States, according to the National Cancer Institute.
Other Survivorship Facts
- 75 percent: five-year survival rate for female breast cancer patients in the mid-1970s.
- Nearly 90 percent: five-year survival rate for female breast cancer patients today.
- 89 percent: five-year survival rate for patients diagnosed with breast cancer.
- 98 percent: five-year survival rate for patients diagnosed with localized breast cancer.
Doctors now view a breast cancer diagnosis with optimism, creating “survivorship plans” to address the patient’s present and future health needs. After treatment and recovery, this “new normal” group of breast cancer survivors receives a maintenance plan for a healthy future.
Baptist Health Breast Center at Miami Cancer Institute supports patients with a team of healthcare professionals, including physicians, surgeons, diagnosticians, dietitians, social workers and genetic educators. Equally important are the patient navigators who guide patients during and after their cancer experience. The team’s multidisciplinary approach to survivorship addresses treatment, nutrition, fitness, physical therapy and stress management.
As awareness of the survivorship trend increases, programs and support groups are cropping up around the nation. Closer to home, Baptist Health offers support groups and a blog that shares resources and encouragement to newly diagnosed patients, survivors and their families. The American Cancer Society has also created a Cancer Survivors Network. In combination with survivorship plans, these resources help the breast cancer patient face her future with a brighter outlook.