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Breast Cancer Follow Up Care

    • Breast cancer follow-up care is a journey that extends well past your last days of chemo. This is a vital piece of your breast cancer recovery, and depends on an open, ongoing relationship between you and your medical team. The first priority is always to keep you healthy and spot signs of trouble as early as possible. Read on for tips to ensure the successful follow-up care you deserve.

      • It is very important to go to all scheduled follow-up appointments once your treatment is complete. Your doctor will perform a physical exam, ask you about any problems or symptoms, and order laboratory or imaging tests as needed.

      • You should never hesitate to tell your doctor about any symptoms or side effects you have, especially those that concern you.

      • Your follow-up appointments will probably be scheduled for every four to six months in the beginning. The longer you are cancer free, the fewer appointments you need. After five years of being cancer free, you will probably see your doctor only once a year.

      • You will need yearly mammograms on the noncancerous breast and the cancerous breast if it was treated by lumpectomy.

      • You should have yearly pelvic examinations if you are taking Tamoxifen due to the increased risk of uterine cancer.

      • You should consider testing your bone density if you are taking an aromatase inhibitor, since it blocks estrogen in the bones.

      • Blood tumor markers, liver function tests, bone scans and chest x-rays are usually not needed unless your symptoms or a physical exam suggest something unusual.