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Mastectomy: Follow-Up Care

Successful treatment of your cancer is the first step toward a healthy future. Now you can begin a follow-up program. This lifelong program should include visits to your health care provider, mammograms, and breast self-exams. Maintaining each part of this program will help give you peace of mind as you begin your life after treatment.

Doctor and patientVisit Your Doctor

Even after treatment, your doctor will want to watch your health closely. See your doctor as directed. You may be asked to come in twice a year or more. Other members of your health care team will also want to see you. At these visits, report any changes in your breasts or problems with your general health.

 

Schedule Mammograms

Your doctor will tell you how often to have mammograms. During your appointment, extra X-rays may be taken. There is no need for concern. This is common after treatment for breast cancer.

Image of shaded torso after mastectomy
Feel for changes in the shaded area shown above.
Perform Breast Self-Exams

Be sure to do monthly breast self-exams. If you’ve had breast surgery or treatment, your breasts probably look and feel different. Ask your doctor how to do the exams and what to look for. Remember to check:

  • Both the left and right side of the chest

  • The skin over the chest wall

  • Any incisions or scars

  • Above and below the collarbone

  • The armpits

  • The entire chest wall, down to the bottom of the ribs

Online Medical Reviewer: Berry, Judith, PhD, APRN
Online Medical Reviewer: newMentor board-certified, academically affiliated clinician
Last Review Date: 9/7/2013
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