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  • Writer's pictureSurviving Breast Cancer

The Breast Cancer Care Continuum: The Journey From Patient to Survivor

Breast cancer is a complex and multifaceted disease that can significantly impact a patient’s physical, emotional, and social well-being. Although advancements in technology and treatments have improved patient outcomes, managing breast cancer requires a comprehensive approach that includes prevention, screening, diagnosis, treatment, and recovery and survivorship.

The Breast Cancer Care Continuum

The Breast Cancer Care Continuum is a comprehensive framework focusing on improving the quality of care for breast cancer patients by addressing the various aspects of breast cancer care. The continuum includes five key stages of care:

1. Prevention

Preventing the occurrence of breast cancer is the ideal scenario. However, many risk factors can contribute to the development of breast cancer, including age, family history, lifestyle choices, and exposure to certain chemicals. Women with a high risk of developing breast cancer may take preventative measures, like prophylactic mastectomy or medication. Your healthcare providers can guide you on the most effective options based on your risk factors.

2. Screening

Early detection is vital to successful treatment. Therefore, you should report any breast changes or abnormalities to your healthcare provider. Mammograms are the most common screening tool used to detect breast cancer, and you should discuss when to get them and how often with your provider. Additional screening tools include breast MRIs or ultrasounds.

3. Diagnosis

If breast cancer is suspected, your provider may recommend a biopsy, which involves removing a small amount of breast tissue for analysis. Biopsies can confirm the presence of cancer and provide critical information about the type of cancer, which informs treatment options and decisions.

4. Treatment

Treatment can involve surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and targeted therapy, or a combination. The type of recommended treatment depends on several factors, including the stage and type of cancer, and the patient’s overall health and preferences.

Surgery is often the first step in breast cancer treatment, and it may include removing the tumor and a small amount of surrounding tissue (lumpectomy) or the entire breast (mastectomy). Reconstruction may be performed immediately or later, depending on the type of surgery.

Radiation therapy uses high-energy radiation to destroy cancer cells and is often used after surgery to eliminate any remaining cancer cells. Chemotherapy is a systemic treatment that uses drugs to eradicate cancer cells and is often used before or after surgery to shrink tumors or prevent recurrence. Finally, targeted therapy uses drugs that target specific proteins or genes associated with cancer growth and can be combined with other treatments.

5. Recovery and Survivorship

After treatment, patients enter a recovery and survivorship phase. During this phase, patients may experience physical and emotional changes and may require ongoing support. Follow-up care, including regular medical appointments and imaging tests, is important to monitor for a recurrence and address any side effects of treatment.

Support can be a vital tool for recovery and survivorship. offers multiple online weekly and monthly support groups to help you navigate your journey.

Each stage of the Breast Cancer Care Continuum is critical to ensuring patients receive the best possible care and achieve the most favorable outcomes. Effective coordination between healthcare providers, patients, and support services is essential to accomplish this goal.

The Importance of the Breast Cancer Care Continuum

The Breast Cancer Care Continuum ensures that patients receive timely and appropriate care at every stage of their journey, from prevention to survivorship. As a result, the approach can help reduce morbidity and mortality rates associated with breast cancer, improve patient outcomes, and enhance the quality of life for survivors.

According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is the second most common cancer among women in the US, and early detection through screening is critical to improving patient outcomes. The Breast Cancer Care Continuum ensures that patients receive regular screenings and follow-up care to detect and manage breast cancer at the earliest possible stage.

Count On Us for Information, Resources, and Support

Whether you’re newly diagnosed with breast cancer, are navigating survivorship, or are the loved one of someone experiencing breast cancer, you can count on to keep you informed.

In addition to online support groups, we provide a comprehensive suite of resources. Our resources include educational information to help you better understand symptoms, testing, treatment options, surgery, etc.; podcasts that feature professionals, advocates, and caregivers that share valuable information; and free online programs in English and Spanish including yoga, art therapy, writing workshops, webinars, and more.

Your donations enable to offer resources and support every day, every month, and every year, so you’re never alone.

SBC is here for you!

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Meditation Mondays:

Chakra Chanting with Gloria

Mondays at 10:00 a.m. ET 


Thursday Night Thrivers:

All Stages Support Group

Thursdays at 7:00 p.m. ET



Thursday Night Thrivers:

Metastatic Breast Cancer Support Group

First and third Thursdays

of the month at 7:00 p.m. ET



Thursday Night Thrivers:

Inflammatory Breast Cancer Support Group

Second Thursday

of the month at 7:00 p.m. ET


Tuesday Night Thrivers

Después de un Diagnóstico:

Grupo de Apoyo en Español

2do y Cuarto Martes de cada mes 

7:00 p.m. ET


Encourage and Empower

For Newly Diagnosed

September 10, 11:00 a.m. ET


Breast Cancer Book Club

The first Sunday of the month


Restorative Yoga:

The secret Garden

April 22,  6:00 p.m. ET


Qi Gong

April 23,  11:30 a.m. ET


Art Therapy

May 6, 6:00 p.m. ET


Forest Bathing

May 7,  6:00 p.m. ET


Reflect & Recharge

Expressive Writing

May 13,  6:00 p.m. ET


Yoga Fitness with Chair Assist

May 14, 11:30 a.m. ET


Yoga Stretching for DIEP flap

May 14,  6:00 p.m. ET


Más eventos en español


Upcoming Events


Surviving Breast Cancer provides breast cancer support, events, and webinars at no cost to you! Whether you are looking to gain more knowledge on a particular topic or meet up with other breast cancer survivors, we have something for everyone. 


Our standing appointment on Thursdays is for all stages. We also host specific breakout groups once a month for specific stages and subtypes such as Metastatic breast cancer, and Inflammatory Breast Cancer, etc. 


The Book Club meets the first Sunday of every month at 11 am ET. You are welcome to join each month or pick and choose your month based on your availability and the book we are reading. 


Through art, writing, and other creative modalities, we hold the power to manage our stress, make sense of our now, and relax into moments of stillness. 


Free, monthly, online classes in restorative yoga, yoga for breast cancer, and Zumba. 


Después de un Diagnóstico