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General Surgery

Follow Up after Treatment for Breast Cancer

After receiving the treatment for breast cancer, you will have regular check-ups that include physical examination and mammogram. Initially these will be very frequent, but eventually you may be seen only once a year.

Follow-up care is very important following treatment of breast cancer. The purpose of the follow-up is to take care of your emotional and physical well-being and reduce the risk of recurrence.

It is quite natural for a woman to get anxious for a while before or during the follow-up appointments.
During the follow-up visits, the surgeon will ask questions about any problems you may have and perform physical examination of your breasts. Your doctor will also look for any signs of recurrence and side effects of the treatment.

Follow-up appointment schedule varies depending on the type of treatment undergone. A suggested schedule of follow-up includes an appointment every three months for the first two years, then every six months until five years. After five years, you will be seen once a year.

Regular mammograms once a year are recommended on the remaining breast if you have had a mastectomy.

Talk with your doctor if you have any of the following signs and symptoms:

  • A new lump in the breast or under the arm
  • Thickening of scar on the chest wall
  • Weight loss
  • Chest pain
  • Abdominal tenderness
  • Bone pain or fractures
  • Headaches or seizures
  • Shortness of breath

Please contact your breast care nurse if you have any questions or queries.