Transitioning Your Breast Cancer Care from MSKCC to a Primary Care Doctor

This information describes how your breast cancer care will be transitioned from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) to your local primary care doctor. It also provides the answers to questions people frequently ask. 
At MSKCC, we have a care plan for our patients who have completed treatment for breast cancer. This plan is based on your individual needs. You have passed the time when most problems from breast cancer occur. As a result, you can start seeing your local primary care doctor for your future healthcare needs. This transition may seem scary at first, but we are here to help you.

Initial Follow-up Care

In the years early after your treatment, you were seen by your doctor for follow-up visits. You may have had visits with more than 1 doctor, depending on the treatments you received. These visits included physical examinations and tests, such as mammograms.

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Long-term Follow-up Care

Your care at MSKCC

About 2 to 5 years after treatment, your care may have been transferred from your doctor to a survivorship nurse practitioner (NP). Like your doctor, your survivorship NP examined you and ordered tests. He or she focused on your long-term physical and psychological needs after breast cancer. This included treating any effects from treatment and making sure that you were getting all the care you needed. After each of these visits, your survivorship NP sent information about your breast cancer care to your local doctor. The purpose was to keep your doctor informed so that at some time, all your care could be transferred there.

Transition to your local primary care doctor

Now that your breast cancer care needs have passed, your care can be transferred from MSKCC to your local primary care doctor. Your MSKCC doctor or survivorship NP will send your primary care doctor a detailed summary of your care at MSKCC and copies of your test results. This report will also include any recommendations based on the breast cancer treatment you received.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How will my primary care doctor know about my breast cancer treatment and follow-up care?

Your MSKCC doctor or survivorship NP will send your primary care doctor a detailed summary of your care at MSKCC. This report will include information about your treatment, your most recent test results, and recommendations for follow-up care.

Will I need any other care for my breast cancer?

You should have a yearly breast and chest exam and mammogram, if needed.

Can I still have my mammogram at MSKCC?

It is your choice. You can have your mammograms done by a local radiologist. We can provide you with copies of your old mammograms for comparison. If you want to continue getting your mammograms at MSKCC, you can go to the Evelyn H. Lauder Breast and Imaging Center at 300 East 66th Street (at Second Avenue). However, you will need a prescription from your local doctor at these sites so that the test results can be sent to that office.

What other care will I need?

You should continue to take care of your bone health, especially if you took hormonal therapy. We will forward the results of your bone density tests to your doctor and he or she will order them in the future. Continue to follow the recommendations for diet and exercise and take supplements or medications as prescribed. You should also see your gynecologist every 1 to 2 years, depending on your age and symptoms.

What other blood tests will I need?

You no longer need blood tests related to your breast cancer. Your local doctor will order tests related to your general health, such as cholesterol screenings. Any other tests that need to be continued will be part of the report sent from your care team at MSKCC to your local doctor.

I see other MSKCC doctors. Can I continue to do so?

You may transfer any other care you receive at MSKCC to either your primary care doctor or a specialist in your community. This will require discussion and care planning with your MSKCC specialist and local doctors.

What if I have another breast cancer problem and need to come back to MSKCC?

If you have any problems related to breast cancer, we want you to come back to MSKCC. We will give your primary care doctor contact information to make an appointment. For your reference, as a returning patient you can make an appointment by calling 866-280-7449.

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