We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

What Happens after Breast Cancer Treatment?

Nicole Madison
Updated: Jan 25, 2024

Once a woman has received successful treatment for breast cancer, she isn't normally released from medical care. Instead, she is usually required to see her doctor for follow-up visits after breast caner treatment. Such visits allow her doctor to monitor her continuing health and note any side effects of treatment. If the cancer has returned, these visits may also allow a doctor to discover it at an early stage. Additionally, a woman may need yearly pelvic exams to look for signs of uterine cancer.

A woman can usually expect to attend follow-up appointments after breast cancer treatment. She will usually see her doctor for examinations and to discuss any symptoms or concerns she has. For example, a woman may sometimes experience side effects of cancer treatment long after the treatment is over. In fact, some women have side effects that last for weeks or even months after treatment. It is not unheard of to have some side effects that last for the rest of a woman's life.

Monitoring is common after treatment as well. If a woman is on medication following treatment, her doctor may monitor it for effectiveness and serious side effects. He may also order blood tests and imaging procedures to make sure the signs of cancer haven't returned. If signs of reoccurring breast cancer are present, a doctor may order additional testing in order to make his diagnosis and decide how to proceed with treatment.

In most cases, a woman can expect to see her doctor for follow-up visits about once every three months or twice a year after breast cancer treatment. Generally, the visits become less frequent as the length of time after breast cancer treatment increases. For example, by the time a woman has enjoyed five years free of breast cancer, she may only need to see her doctor about once a year. It is important to note, however, that women who have retained breast tissue usually need regular mammograms as well.

Doctors also commonly order yearly pelvic exams after breast cancer treatment. This may prove necessary when a woman is taking a drug called tamoxifen, which can reduce the risk of breast cancer recurrence. This drug does have benefits for breast cancer patients but may also increase the risk of developing cancer of the uterus. In light of this risk, a woman is usually advised to inform her doctor of any abnormal vaginal bleeding or abdominal swelling that develops while she is taking this medication.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Nicole Madison
By Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a WiseGeek writer, where she focuses on topics like homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. Her passion for knowledge is evident in the well-researched and informative articles she authors. As a mother of four, Nicole balances work with quality family time activities such as reading, camping, and beach trips.
Discussion Comments
Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a WiseGeek writer, where she focuses on topics like...
Learn more
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.