After you complete your chemotherapy treatment, your doctor will schedule follow-up visits — usually every four to six months at first and then less frequently the longer you remain cancer-free. This will be done to monitor you for long-term side effects and to check for recurrence of the breast cancer. Tests and procedures during follow-up care include:
- A careful review of your medical history, especially any signs or symptoms you experience after chemotherapy
- Physical exam, including breast exam
- Yearly mammogram
- Bone density testing
Tests such as tumor marker tests, liver function tests, bone scans and chest X-rays generally aren't recommended unless there is a specific need. Additional imaging tests are typically needed only when a recurrence is suspected.
Oct. 23, 2010
- Breast cancer. American Cancer Society. http://www.cancer.org/Cancer/BreastCancer/DetailedGuide/index. Accessed July 2, 2010.
- Breast cancer treatment (PDQ): Health professional version. National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/breast/HealthProfessional. Accessed July 2, 2010.
- Hayes DF. Clinical decisions in systemic adjuvant therapy for early breast cancer. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed July 2, 2010.
- Burstein H. Adjuvant chemotherapy for early stage HER2-negative breast cancer. http://www.uptodate.com. Accessed July 2, 2010.
- Hayes DF. Systemic chemotherapy for HER2-negative metastatic breast cancer. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed July 2, 2010.
- Making treatment decisions: Guide to chemotherapy. National Comprehensive Cancer Network. http://www.nccn.com/chemotherapy.aspx. Accessed July 12, 2010.
- Chemotherapy principles: An in-depth discussion of the techniques and its role in treatment. American Cancer Society. http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/002995-pdf.pdf. Accessed July 12, 2010.
- About survivorship. American Society of Clinical Oncologists. http://www.cancer.net/patient/Survivorship/About+Survivorship. Accessed July 12, 2010.
- Questions and answers about chemotherapy. National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/chemotherapy-and-you/page2. Accessed July 12, 2010.
- Chemotherapy — Your personal experience. American Society of Clinical Oncologists. http://www.cancer.net/patient/All+About+Cancer/Cancer.Net+Features/Treatments%2C+Tests%2C+and+Procedures/Chemotherapy%26mdash%3BYour+Personal+Experience. Accessed July 12, 2010.
- What happens after treatment for breast cancer? American Cancer Society. http://www.cancer.org/Cancer/BreastCancer/DetailedGuide/breast-cancer-after-follow-up. Accessed July 12, 2010.