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The Voice of People With Breast Cancer


Living with Breast Cancer


Follow-up Care and Surveillance

When you have completed breast cancer treatment or surgery, you will be required to see your doctor for follow-up care. Follow-up care is done to make sure that the breast cancer treatment and therapies you received have worked and to detect new or recurrent cancer. Various tests and assessments may be done during follow-up care, including breast imaging.

In the first few years of your follow-up care, you may receive check-ups every 6 months to year. This will slow to once every year a few years following the completion of your treatment. The doctor might do a physical exam, check for any signs of new or worsening symptoms or side effects and ask you if you have been experiencing any new symptoms or side effects.

You will also continue to receive yearly mammograms if you have not had a bilateral mastectomy. If you have had implant reconstruction, ask your doctor what the best method of routine surveillance is for you. You may also receive additional surveillance tests including breast MRI, bone density scans, or heart function tests depending on your personal risk factors.

Once your oncologist determines you no longer need to receive your follow-up care through the cancer program, they will transfer this responsibility to the provider in charge of your primary healthcare. Your oncologist will provide your doctor with a review of your treatment and guidelines for continuing your breast cancer surveillance.

Follow-up Care Guidelines from BC Cancer
Follow-up Care Model of Care for Cancer Survivors from Cancer Care Ontario
Guidelines for Breast Cancer Well Follow-Up Care from Cancer Care Ontario

The following three resources provide information on surveillance and imaging for those who have been diagnosed with breast cancer.

Screening AFTER Breast Cancer Webinar
In this webinar, Dr. Jean Seely shares best practices when it comes to screening after a breast cancer diagnosis.

Watch now

Questions & Experts: A Radiologist Answers Your Questions About Breast Imaging After Breast Cancer
In this Q&E: Questions and Experts session, participants asked Dr. Jean Seely their questions about screening and surveillance following a breast cancer diagnosis.

Watch now

CBCN Advocacy Guide: Screening AFTER Breast Cancer
In this advocacy guide, we outline the differences and similarities between the most common types of breast imaging technologies and provides strategies on how to advocate for the right imaging test for yourself if the standard of care where you live is not adequate for your situation.

Read now

The Canadian Cancer Society has a database that can be used to find local support services in your area. You can access it below:



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