Next Steps Clinic - Breast Cancer

The Next Steps Clinic - Breast Cancer offers specialized follow-up care focused on the unique needs of breast cancer patients. The goal of the clinic is to help each survivor stay as healthy as possible and to prevent problems from happening or catch them early, when they are most easily treated.

Survivorship care is provided by a nurse practitioner with expertise in breast cancer care and survivorship matters. The long-term care this clinic provides gives patients an opportunity to discuss their cancer treatment, its impact on their health, and ways to stay as healthy as possible after breast cancer treatment. The clinic is carried out in collaboration with the patient’s primary treatment team.

Meagan Joseph – Clinic Coordinator, Jessica Sparks – NP,
Jeff Barrett – Social Services Coordinator

 

Eligibility Requirements

The Next Steps Clinic - Breast Cancer is for patients who:

  • Have a diagnosis of breast cancer
  • Have reached at least 12 months since initial diagnosis
  • Are not receiving active treatment (other than hormonal therapy)


Patients will receive:

  • Monitoring for long-term effects of breast cancer treatment
  • Referral for management of identified problems, if needed
  • A Survivorship Guide Book that includes:
    • A place to record the personalized details of your cancer treatment - Guidelines for continued monitoring
    • Recommendations for preventive care
    • Information regarding available resources and services


What to expect from a Survivorship Clinic visit:

  • Review of medical history and symptoms
  • Physical exam
  • Health education
  • Review of Survivorship Clinic care plan
  • Follow-up tests, such as blood work and bone density scans, depending on the treatments received
  • Referrals to specialists, support resources, and other services depending on your individual case and needs
  • Upon request, a summary of your visit can be sent to your primary care provider

Why UAB

The UAB Medicine cancer program is ranked among the best in the nation. Patients who come to UAB Medicine for breast cancer treatment have access to the full array of specialists within our system, including medical, surgical, and radiation oncologists, certified oncology nurses, nurse navigators, reconstructive surgeons, and more.

UAB Medicine's Breast Health Center is unique in that we deliver the full range of breast health services including screening, diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation, and research. Through our Lynne Cohen Preventive Care Program for Women's Cancer, we also offer comprehensive risk assessments and prevention strategies for breast, ovarian, and uterine cancer, arming women with knowledge to make informed decisions about their cancer risk and care. For women whose cancer is now in remission, our Breast Cancer Survivorship Clinic provides the ongoing medical and emotional support they need to remain healthy long after their treatment has come to an end.

As a part of the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center, our innovative Interdisciplinary Breast Cancer Clinic utilizes a team of dedicated breast specialists to help patients evaluate their options as effectively as possible, which also allows patients and their families to meet with our various team members in one convenient visit. This approach facilitates better communication among team members, patients, and their families. Each patient is evaluated initially by one of our breast specialists before meeting face to face with other team members to discuss long-term treatment planning. Individualized care plans are developed in roundtable discussions and discussed with the patient and family members during the same visit, which allows questions to be asked of each team member.

The UAB Integrative Medicine Clinic features a collaborative approach to patient care among multiple practitioners and utilizes therapies that are proven in both traditional and complementary health care. Integrative medicine combines traditional medical care with programs designed to address the physical, biological, lifestyle, emotional, psychological, and spiritual aspects of health and illness. It focuses on the whole person, including family members, to optimize wellness and manage the challenges throughout each patient’s chronic disease or cancer care journey, from prevention to survivorship and beyond. It encourages the human capacity for healing and emphasizes the relationship between practitioner and patient.

Breast Cancer Survivorship and the Future of Cancer Survivorship

Smita Bhatia — The UAB Medicine Breast Cancer Survivorship Program offers specialized follow-up care focused on the unique needs of breast cancer patients. The goal of the program is to help each survivor stay as healthy as possible and to prevent problems from happening or catch them early, when they are most easily treat. In this segment Smita Bhatia, MD, discusses breast cancer survivorship, the future of cancer survivorship and how UAB is leading the way in care and research.