Survivorship & Recurrence Prevention

Who are Breast Cancer Survivors?

We use a standard definition of cancer survival and our resources may be useful for people at any stage of survivorship and those who care for them, from diagnosis to end of life.

An individual is considered a cancer survivor from the time of diagnosis, through the balance of his or her life. Family members, friends, and caregivers are also impacted by the survivorship experience and are therefore included in this definition.

- National Cancer Institute (adapted from the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship)

Read more: Who are Breast Cancer Survivors?

Survivorship Factsheets

Facts for people who have had breast cancer and those who care for them

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In collaboration with breast cancer survivors and scientists involved in the Pathways Study, ZBC is creating a series of Factsheets on topics chosen as important by multi-lingual and lower-income Black, Asian-American, Latina and White women. Each weaves stories and research with specific tips and resources for addressing concerns. These factsheets are for people diagnosed with cancer and those who care for them.

If you would like to request hard copies for your community, please complete this Materials Request Form

Read more: Survivorship Factsheets

Improving Life After Breast Cancer

ZBC works with partners to identify and promote ways to improve the lives of the almost 4 million people living in the United States who have been diagnosed with breast cancer.

Since 2003, we have worked with scientists, clinicians and survivors on the Pathways Breast Cancer Survivorship Study. This has provided the basis for our Survivorship Factsheets.

We coordinated with clinical care and social service organizations in the Breast Cancer Survivorship Navigation Collaborative to increase access to patient navigation and survivorship care planning in communities with fewer resources. ZBC is works with researchers on specific issues, such as cardiac rehabilitation after breast cancer. And we are active in the California Dialogue on Cancer to collaborate with others on improving life after a cancer diagnosis.

Breast Cancer Recurrence Prevention

One of the biggest fears facing a person who has "survived" breast cancer is the chance it could return or recurrence. In addition to therapies doctors suggest, we know that people who eat healthy, get exercise and have good support from friends and/or family generally live longer after cancer treatment. Still, even if you do everything just right, cancer might come back.

Based on the current evidence, we suggest:

  • Eating healthy
  • Physical activity (exercise at work, home, gym or wherever), start as slow and low impact as you need and build up
  • Stress management (yoga, meditation, prayer)
  • Avoid excessive sun exposure and/or use a healthy sunscreen (melanoma risk is much higher after breast cancer)
  • Get support, it can be from a cancer group or friends and family

 Be Healthy After Treatment, American Cancer Society. Offers advice about getting and staying healthy.