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Mastectomy: Follow-Up Care

Woman's torso with shading over area to examine after mastectomy.
Feel for changes in the shaded area shown above.
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 healthcare provider, regular mammograms, and knowing how your chest/breast normally looks and feels so you can notice any changes right away. Maintaining each part of this program will help give you peace of mind as you begin your life after treatment.

Visit your healthcare provider

Even after treatment, your healthcare provider will want to watch your health closely. See your healthcare provider as directed. You may be asked to come in twice a year or more. Other members of your healthcare 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 healthcare provider 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.

Become familiar with how your breast and chest area look and feel. If you’ve had breast surgery or treatment, your breasts, chest, and maybe your armpit probably look and feel different. Ask your healthcare provider what changes are normal 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 (cuts) or scars

  • Above and below the collarbone

  • The armpits

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

Online Medical Reviewer: Cunningham, Louise, RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Image reviewed by StayWell medical illustration team.
Online Medical Reviewer: Stump-Sutliff, Kim, RN, MSN, AOCNS
Last Review Date: 10/31/2015
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