Conference Coverage

Linking Internal Medicine, Metastatic Breast Cancer

In this video, Abbey Kaler, NP, speaks about the importance of partnerships between breast cancer clinics and internal medicine physicians to manage comorbidities in patients with advanced breast cancer. She also discussed this topic during a poster presentation at SABCS 2022 titled “Linking Internal Medicine Care to Metastatic Breast Cancer Patients for Success: LIMBS.”

Additional Resource:

  • Kaler AJ. Linking internal medicine to metastatic breast cancer patients for success: LIMBS. Talk presented at: San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium 2022; December 6-10, 2022; San Antonio, Texas. Accessed December 15, 2022.

Abbey J. Kaler, MS, APRN, FNP-C

Abbey J. Kaler, MS, APRN, FNP-C, is the supervisor advanced practice provider at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in the advanced breast cancer program (Houston, TX).



Abbey J Kaler, MS, APRN, FNP-C: My name is Abbey Kaler, and I am the supervisor advanced practice provider at MD Anderson Cancer Center leading the Advanced Breast Cancer Program.

I'm really excited to share with you our poster “Linking Internal Medicine and Metastatic Breast Cancer for Success.” The Advanced Breast Cancer Program in MD Anderson partnered with our Department of Internal Medicine to create a new clinic, our LIMBS clinic, which offers a trained internal medicine provider to be able to see our patients living with advanced breast cancer for the management of their non-cancer-related medical comorbidities.

When our patients were seen in the LIMBS clinic, our LIMBs clinic patients were found to have higher rates of hypertension, hyperlipidemia, type 2 diabetes, as well as hypothyroidism when compared to our general population of metastatic breast cancer patients. There were higher rates of anxiety, depression, and menopausal light characteristics in the general population.

Through this analysis of the top 10 comorbidities, we were able to see that there is a significant population of metastatic breast cancer patients that have increased medical comorbidities that need to be managed in coordination with their oncology provider.

So really, the LIMBS poster is the first of many works with our LIMBS clinic team into furthering the research in the comorbidities that our patients experience, developing protocols to be able to manage these comorbidities, and improve their overall quality of life.

The overall take-home message from the LIMBS clinic poster was that people were shocked that internal medicine care is not a routine part of cancer care and understand the potential barriers that might come in place, that for a patient that may experience barriers between internal medicine as well as their oncologist, and really the need to bridge the gap and to educate our community, internal medicine providers, have them be aware of how to contact an oncology provider, an internal medicine specialty oncology provider that is aware of the treatments their patients may be on to be able to ask questions and foster that relationship. I think that's definitely one of our next steps as well is the community outreach program.

Thank you for having me.