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.
In April 2002, when the doctor told us my wife, Chris, had breast cancer, the first two words out of my mouth were "Oh" and a four-letter word. I felt shock and disbelief -- that this kind of thing happens to other people, not to us. I had no idea how I would handle this -- do all the caregiving, plus make a living. Right away, my attitude was, "It's her job to get better, and it's my job to do everything else." But it still seemed impossible.
As it turned out, Chris had stage 3 breast cancer and...
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: