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Best Practices in Breast Cancer Care Essay

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Updated: Jul 9th, 2021

Current Practices in Supporting Women with Breast Cancer

Treatment guidelines for women with breast cancer include not only diagnostics and therapy but also practices aimed at maintaining patients after diagnosis and treatment. Tompkins et al. (2016) suggest that increasing the number of breast cancer survivors requires monitoring their condition and supporting them through the essential care approaches as a continuation of the clinical practice. Based on this, the final stage of therapy should include comprehensive support for patients with breast cancer as one of the main health care practices within the framework of current treatment guidelines. Therefore, current models of the latter stage of treatment should involve a written plan of care, as well as support from health workers and breast cancer nurses (BCNs) (Tompkins et al., 2016).

However, it is necessary to bear in mind that many patients after therapy do not receive sufficient personalized support. The reason for this is the fact that current guidelines require self-management of women, which may be ineffective in cases of overburdened women (Tompkins et al., 2016). This indicates gaps in supporting practices of women after diagnosis or survivors.

Thereupon, current research insists on the use of methods to support women after breast cancer treatment, along with other practitioners, and points to the importance of a personalized approach in addition to self-control. It is evident that external help and counseling should be a part of the clinical practice of caring for women with breast cancer. Tompkins et al. (2016) emphasize that self-control is not sufficient in many cases of patient care, which indicates the importance of using new models of external evaluation and assistance.

Other researchers, for example, Kirshbaum et al. (2016), also insist on the need for further patient care. For example, planned care, which comprises women’s reassurance and support, admits one to monitor the condition of patients and the possibility of relapses, as well as offering emotional assistance (Kirshbaum et al., 2016). Therefore, the analysis of research allows one to conclude that self-service cannot be the basis of care and subsequent professional approach is relevant for the best practices.

Women’s Health Initiative Study on the Controversial Status of External Support for Patients with Breast Cancer

Supportive care for women diagnosed with breast cancer, as well as its results, occupy an important place in the study conducted by the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI). The study examines the relationship between social support and overall health and mortality among women with breast cancer based on a cohort selected by WHI (Kroenke et al., 2012). Accordingly, an assessment of the relationship between external care and professional clinical care and the ability of patients to cope with the disease and treatment provide the identification of best practices.

Kroenke et al. (2012) discuss the significant impact of supporting close relatives as a method of physical and emotional care, emphasizing that wide social networks aggravate women’s health and increase mortality. These outcomes underscore the importance of external care, support and care as part of general clinical practice for breast cancer patients. However, the WHI study focuses on the need for family support and the avoidance of extensive social network involvement (Kroenke et al., 2012). This guidance indicates the negative influence of mass non-professional care and emphasizes the importance of professional help as the best practice in supporting cancer patients.

Differences in the Best Practices of Care for Women with Breast Cancer Diagnosis

The discussed studies examining current approaches to the follow-up care of women with breast cancer diagnosis or survivors focus on two sides of such guidelines. Hence, the WHI study confirms that women need support outside of therapy; however, the excessive social burden is detrimental to the health of patients (Kroenke et al., 2012). In this regard, it can be noted that the study by Tompkins et al. (2016) takes into account the lack of social support and self-control and proceeds further by offering various practices for the subsequent care of women under the guidance of health care professionals and breast care nurses.

I believe that, given the insufficient outcome of self-management and non-professional support, the most relevant practices are the implementation of standardized and extensive assistance from medical staff as the guiding principle of follow-up treatment. The article by Kirshbaum et al. (2016) confirms this by highlighting professional counseling and comprehensive testing and psychological support from the nurses as a significant part of the practice of treating women at an early stage of breast cancer or patients after therapy. Such an approach seems to be the most acceptable regarding the importance of expanding clinical practices beyond the limits of clinical treatment.

The implementation of planned practices to assess the status of women after breast cancer treatment and to maintain their physical and emotional state may improve outcomes and neutralize the problems of self-care. Therefore, such practices can promote monthly checks, provide strong emotional support as an essential stage of treatment, as well as a conviction that patients understand the treatment and care plan (Tharpe, Farley, & Jordan, 2016).

Even though follow-up assistance is not essential in mainstream clinical practice for breast cancer, studies prove this one of the fundamental needs. Patient counseling at each stage of treatment cannot be excluded from general guidelines.

Given that many women suffer from a lack of contact with a breast cancer nurse, professional follow-up care should be mandatory (Tompkins et al., 2016). The difference in the best approaches reflects the fact that the lack of professional follow-up care has a negative impact on the outcome of the treatment of women, while professional help represents the most successful practice. Thus, the analysis of research suggests that current clinical practice in patients with breast cancer cannot overlook the subsequent assessment and support that can achieve the best results for women.


Kirshbaum, M. N., Dent, J., Stephenson, J., Topping, A. E., Allinson, V., McCoy, M., & Brayford, S. (2016). . European Journal of Cancer Care, 26(4). Web.

Kroenke, C. H., Michael, Y., Tindle, H., Gage, E., Chlebowski, R., Garcia, L., Messina, C., Manson, J. E., … Caan, B. J. (2012). . Breast cancer research and treatment, 133(1), 375-85. Web.

Tharpe, N. L., Farley, C., & Jordan, R. G. (2016). Clinical practice guidelines for midwifery & women’s health (5th ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Publishers.

Tompkins, C., Scanlon, K., Scott, E., Ream, E., Harding, S., & Armes, J. (2016). . BMC Health Services Research, 16(1). Web.

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