Breast Cancer Research and Treatment

, Volume 133, Issue 2, pp 413–416 | Cite as

Thinking beyond the tumor to better understand chronic symptoms in breast cancer survivors

  • N. Lynn Henry
  • Daniel J. Clauw
Invited Commentary

Over 200,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year in the United States, and more than 80% are alive 10 years after diagnosis [1]. Treatment generally includes surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and/or targeted therapies. Choice of treatment is determined by assessing the likely benefit of each therapy for an individual patient, taking into consideration tumor characteristics and likelihood of disease recurrence. Additional personalization of the treatment regimen is generally based on pre-existing patient comorbid conditions, such as heart failure or peripheral neuropathy, which can increase the potential risks of therapy.

Most long-term breast cancer survivors recover fully from treatment. However, a substantial proportion experience chronic symptoms, including pain and fatigue, which negatively impact quality of life [2]. The etiology of these symptoms in patients that otherwise remain free from disease recurrence is unclear, especially since all patients...


Breast Cancer Chronic Pain Fibromyalgia Breast Cancer Survivor Duloxetine 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



NLH is the Damon Runyon-Lilly Clinical Investigator supported (in part) by the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation (CI-53-10).


NLH receives research funding from Eli Lilly, AstraZeneca, and Sanofi Aventis. DJC receives research funding from Forest Laboratories and Merck and is a consultant for Cypress Biosciences, Eli Lilly, Forest Laboratories, Jazz Pharmaceuticals, Merck, Pierre Fabre Pharmaceuticals USA, Pfizer, and UCB.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Hematology/Oncology, Department of Internal MedicineUniversity of Michigan Medical SchoolAnn ArborUSA
  2. 2.Department of AnesthesiologyUniversity of Michigan Medical SchoolAnn ArborUSA

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