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If you've recently finished your breast cancer treatment, you probably feel that you never want to hear the word "cancer" again. It's normal to want to put your experience of the disease and treatment behind you. Like many other women who have been on the breast cancer journey, you want to get back to your life as it used to be before your diagnosis.

Yet you probably know you'll be dealing with some concerns about cancer for the rest of your life. In fact, experts have come to think about breast cancer as a chronic condition, like heart disease and diabetes. It's something you live with and watch out for, to make sure you have the best chance for a long, healthy life.

For this reason, even many years after your initial treatment is over, you should be checked regularly so your doctors can monitor your health and make sure you're continuing to do well. If you're taking hormonal therapy or any other long-term treatment, you'll also want to check in with your doctor to monitor any side effects.

Another important way to take care of yourself in the long term, and another reason to keep in touch with your doctor, is to stay informed about new treatment developments. Thanks to ongoing research by experts all over the world, breakthroughs in breast cancer treatment are happening all the time. It's always possible that a new advance can help you stay strong and healthy long into the future.

Why is it so important for you to stay informed? What are the most reliable sources of information once you're past the initial treatment?

In this section, we'll answer these questions so you can continue to keep track of new developments that may be important for YOU.

The medical experts for Staying Informed are:

  • Kathy D. Miller, M.D., medical oncologist, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN
  • Marisa Weiss, M.D., breast radiation oncologist, Thomas Jefferson University Health System, Philadelphia, PA

This section was made possible by an unrestricted educational grant from Novartis Oncology.