In my groups and individual sessions, there is often conversation about medical follow-up after adjuvant treatment has been completed. It often seems counter-intuitive that the recommendation may be nothing more than annual mammogram (sometimes with a breast MRI, also annually) and visits once or twice a year with your doctors. ASCO specifically does not recommend blood tests or scans as routine surveillance. Certainly, there are exceptions to these norms, and it is a conversation well worth having with your doctor.
Living Beyond Breast Cancer (www.lbbc.org) recently had a teleconference on this topic, and you can download and listen to the podcast or read the transcript:
To download podcast:
Follow-Up Testing 101
Speaker: Nancy U. Lin, MD
"Get information on the National Cancer Institute's guidelines for follow-up testing and communicating post-treatment concerns with your doctor. Understand the differences between follow-up care for early-stage breast cancer and monitoring advanced disease. Dr. Lin also explains why follow-up care may vary from doctor to doctor and the importance of having a long-term survivorship plan."