Skip to content

Breast Cancer Health Center

Select An Article

Follow-Up Care After Breast Cancer Treatment

Font Size

Once your breast cancer treatment has ended, you’ll need to keep in touch with your cancer doctor and surgeon. Schedule regular appointments with them.

Typically, you should see them every 3 months for the first 2 years after treatment ends, every 6 months during years 3 through 5, and then annually for the rest of your life. But your schedule will depend on your personal diagnosis.

Recommended Related to Breast Cancer

General Information About Male Breast Cancer

Incidence and Mortality Estimated new cases and deaths from breast cancer (men only) in the United States in 2014:[1] New cases: 2,360. Deaths: 430. Male breast cancer is rare.[2] Less than 1% of all breast carcinomas occur in men.[3,4] The mean age at diagnosis is between 60 and 70 years, though men of all ages can be affected with the disease. Risk Factors Predisposing risk factors [5] appear to include radiation exposure, estrogen administration, and diseases associated...

Read the General Information About Male Breast Cancer article > >

Get regular mammograms. If you had a mastectomy, you only need one of the other breast.

Routine chest X-rays and blood tests in women who have no symptoms of cancer aren’t always reliable. If you had chemotherapy, you’ll need regular blood tests to make sure that your body has recovered from it.

Between medical visits, watch for any changes in your body. Most of the time, if cancer comes back, it's within 5 years of when it was first treated.

What to Watch for

Give yourself regular breast self-exams. Pay attention to any changes in your breast, including:

  • Skin rashes, redness, or swelling
  • New lumps in your breast or chest

Also pay attention to:

  • Bone pain, back pain, or tenderness that doesn't go away
  • Shortness of breath or chest pain
  • Persistent belly pain
  • Weight loss

If you take tamoxifen, tell your doctor about any unusual vaginal bleeding. If you take it and still have your uterus, you need an annual Pap smear, regardless of age.

If you are postmenopausal, if you are taking a medicine called an aromatase inhibitor, or if you've had chemotherapy in the past, get regular screening tests for osteoporosis.

Make taking care of your emotional and physical well-being a priority in life. Don't compare your treatment plan and outcome with others. Everyone's cancer is a little different.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson, MD on May 07, 2015
Next Article:

Today on WebMD

Breast Cancer Overview
From self-exams and biopsies to reconstruction, we’ve got you covered.
Dealing with breast cancer
Get answers to your questions.
 
woman having mammogram
Experts don’t agree on all fronts, but you can be your own advocate.
woman undergoing breast cancer test
Many women worry. But the truth? Most abnormalities aren’t breast cancer.
 
Breast Cancer Treatments Improving
VIDEO
Resolved To Quit Smoking
SLIDESHOW
 
Woman getting mammogram
Article
Screening Tests for Women
SLIDESHOW
 
ovarian cancer overview slideshow
SLIDESHOW
serious woman
Article
 
what is your cancer risk
HEALTH CHECK
10 Ways to Revitalize Slideshow
SLIDESHOW