The period following breast cancer treatment can be a time of excitement or relief, but also a time of worry and concern. You may have questions regarding follow-up, the likelihood of recurrence, and prevention, we are answering a few of these common questions here:
What does follow-up care look like?
Depending on your specific situation and your provider’s recommendations, follow-up care will likely be scheduled every few months following treatment. The longer you have been cancer-free, the less often the appointments are needed. After 5 years, they are typically done about once a year.
If you had a breast-conserving surgery, a mammogram will be scheduled about 6-12 months after surgery and radiation are completed, and then at least every year after that.
If you are on hormone treatments, you may need additional follow up as these can have side effects on osteoporosis or an increased risk of uterine cancer. Be sure to discuss these with your doctor.
Can I lower my risk of breast cancer coming back?
Breast cancer is one of the best-studied types of cancer and research has shown there are some things you can do that might be helpful to decrease your risk of recurrence. Controlling your weight, staying physically active, eating right, and lowering your levels of stress may help you lower your risk of breast cancer returning, as well as help protect you from other health problems.
Pregnancy after breast cancer
If you are a younger woman who has had breast cancer, you might have questions about how breast cancer could affect your ability to have children and whether there are any extra risks. Some treatments for breast cancer might affect a woman’s fertility. For example, chemotherapy for breast cancer might damage the ovaries, which can sometimes cause immediate or delayed infertility. Still, many women are able to become pregnant after treatment. The best time to talk with your doctor about fertility is before starting breast cancer treatment.
Women who have had breast cancer can experience recurrence and are at a higher risk for certain other cancers. Because of this, it is important to stay vigilant about prevention and follow up appointments. Staying up to date on mammograms and other recommended cancer screenings can help detect cancer early if it returns.
To schedule your annual mammogram at Moab Regional Hospital, give us a call at 435-719-3794.