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.
Doctor Visits and Tests
Typically, you should see your doctors 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. Your personal schedule will depend on your diagnosis.
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.
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 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.