Weight gain (associated with poorer prognosis)

Women who had adjuvant chemotherapy and experience menopause

Roughly half report weight gain of 6 to 11 pounds; one-fifth report weight gain of 22 to 44 pounds

Diet/exercise interventions

Cardiovascular disease

Women receiving specific therapies (e.g., anthracycline chemotherapy, trastuzumab [Herceptin])

Premenopausal women with ovarian failure following chemotherapy

Congestive heart failure develops in 0.5 to 1 percent of women

Increased risk of atherosclerosis

Symptomatic women should have a symptom-directed cardiac work-up; routine screening of cardiac function is not recommended

Preventive strategies for heart disease


Women with breast cancer

Reported in one-third of survivors 1 to 5 years after diagnosis. Prevalence similar to that seen in women in the general population of same age. A subgroup of survivors has more severe and persistent fatigue.

Exercise programs appear promising

Cognitive impairment

Women who received adjuvant chemotherapy

Estimates vary, but up to one-third of women with impairments. New evidence suggests onset may precede chemotherapy treatment.

Evidence lacking

Risk to family members

All survivors

An estimated 5 to 10 percent of women with breast cancer have a hereditary form of the disease

Genetic counseling

aBRCA genes (e.g., BRCA1 and BRCA2) are genes that normally help to suppress cell growth. A person who inherits an altered version of the BRCA genes has a higher risk of getting breast, ovarian, or prostate cancer.

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