What Happens When My Cancer Treatment Is Complete?
You’ll need regular check-ups after treatment for breast cancer. Check-ups help ensure that any changes in your health are noted and treated if needed. If you have any new health problems between checkups, you should contact your doctor.
What Happens At Breast Cancer Follow-Up Appointments?
Your doctor will check how you are feeling. Likely if you had surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation, your treatment team will rotate seeing you every few months at first and then your appointments become more spaced out as time goes by.
In addition to checking for the return of breast cancer, check-ups help detect health problems that can result from cancer treatment, such as linger side effects or even new side effects.
Check-ups usually include an exam of the neck, underarm, chest, and breast areas. Since a new breast cancer may develop, you should continue to have regular mammograms. You probably won’t need a mammogram of a reconstructed breast or if you had a mastectomy without reconstruction. Your doctor may order other imaging procedures or lab tests.
During follow-up appointments, you should ask your doctors what the probability is of developing a local recurrence within the breast tissue or a distant recurrence in another organ, based on the stage of the breast cancer and the treatments you’ve had.
What Kinds Of Problems Need To Be Reported To My Physician During The Breast Cancer Follow-Up Phase?
You should report any changes in the treated area or in your other breast to your doctor right away.
Also, make your doctor aware of any new aches or pains that last more than 3 weeks that don’t have a reason to occur. For example, if you’ve been lifting something heavy you may have hurt your back. If you have a new ache or pain elsewhere, think about what activities you have done recently that might be the cause. If you can’t think of any reasons for these new symptoms, call your doctor.