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Long Term Care

Congratulations on being a breast cancer survivor! Your medical team will probably be giving you lots of information on how you will now be monitored following your treatment.

The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) uses data from clinical trials and the expert opinion of experienced cancer researchers and clinicians to establish oncology care guidelines for many diseases. The ASCO guideline for following women who are breast cancer survivors recommends that all women have a history taken and a physical examination every three to six months for the first three years, then every six to 12 months for the next two years, and annually after that.

Monthly self-breast examinations are recommended as well as annual mammography, if necessary. It is also recommended that survivors have regular pelvic examinations. ASCO specifically recommends against routine blood tests, blood cancer markers, chest X-rays, CT scans, bone scans, and liver sonograms because doing these tests has not been shown to help women live longer.

The bottom line: Your current oncologist’s recommendation will be in complete alignment with published breast cancer follow-up guidelines depending on the type of breast cancer or breast disease that you had, and the type of treatment or surgery you chose.