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.
Being at "high" risk for being diagnosed with breast cancer is different than being at high risk for a recurrence of breast cancer.
Research shows breast cancer is more likely to come back after treatment in women who had:
Cancer in the lymph nodes under the arms
A large tumor
An aggressive type of cancer
Negative hormone receptors
Positive HER2 receptor
Breast cancer can recur or come back in three ways:
The cancer can return at the original site. This is called a...
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: