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Breast CancerSurvivorship

Do We Become Complacent Survivors After a Few Years of Cancer Remission?

October 2018 Vol 4 No 5
Ginger Modiri
6-year breast cancer survivor
San Juan Capistrano, CA
Ginger (center) surrounded by her family during Race for the Cure
Ginger (center) surrounded by her family during Race for the Cure, 9/2/18, in California.

Do we as cancer survivors tend to become complacent about our recovering health after several years? Is it easier to say, “Let sleeping dogs lie?”

I recently heard a “snip-it” from an article published by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (or NCCN) titled “Adherence to Guidelines for Breast Surveillance in Breast Cancer Survivors.”1

I was amazed to hear how many cancer survivors are failing to keep up with their long-term routine follow-up mammograms, according to the article.

Granted, most of us, including this survivor, don’t look forward to the scans, blood tests, or other types of testing. But we must keep reminding ourselves that follow-up is a necessary part of our continued recovery.

Surrounding ourselves in false reality may seem easier at the time, but dealing with the inevitable need for testing is a much healthier mindset.

Putting off routine service to our cars, computers, and appliances only leads to increased damage in deferred maintenance, usually costing us more financially.

Cutting years of life off ones’ machines is not the end of the world. Failing to adhere to strict routines regarding a survivor’s medical tests can prematurely be the end of the world for a human being.

Scheduling my mammograms, blood tests, colonoscopies, and other tests is pretty much a no-brainer; I tend to book those appointments around my birthday each year.

Why, you may ask? “It’s my birthday, and testing is the best gift I can give to myself.”

Reference

1. Ruddy KJ, Sangaralingham L, Freedman RA, et al. Adherence to guidelines for breast surveillance in breast cancer survivors. Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network. 2018;16(5):526-534.

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Last modified: October 27, 2018

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