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After breast cancer treatment

Once your treatment is finished, your oncologist will want you to follow up with physical examinations and mammograms or other breast imaging, especially for the first five years after your initial diagnosis. In addition to regular checkups, you should do regular breast self-examination (BSE) to check for any new lumps, redness or swelling. If you want to learn how to do a correct BSE, talk to your doctor or nurse.

Breast Self-Exam


Physical examinations

  • A complete physical exam is done by your family doctor, surgeon or medical oncologist every three to six months for the first three years after your adjuvant therapy and then every six to 12 months for the next two years and then every year afterwards.

  • If you’ve had a mastectomy, your doctor will examine your chest wall, the lymph nodes around your neck and armpit, and your remaining breast.

  • If you’ve had a lumpectomy, your doctor will carefully examine the affected breast as well as your healthy breast to see if there is any evidence of a new lump.

  • The mammogram is your most important follow-up test and you should do one every year. If you've had a mastectomy, your remaining breast should be x-rayed. If you've had a lumpectomy, both breasts should be examined.