The period after being treated for triple-negative breast cancer can be wrought with anxiety because you don’t know what to expect. Fortunately, there are pre-determined paths for follow-up care depending on what your treatment entailed. Let’s look at a few of the areas that will usually need to be covered during the years after treatment.
Your General Follow-Up Schedule
The 3-5 years following treatment for triple-negative breast cancer are the most important for monitoring your health. That’s because studies show the odds of the tumors returning decrease significantly during that time.
While you’re being monitored, your doctor will recommend specific screening tests depending on how you were treated.
If you still have breast tissue, you can expect an annual mammogram. For those whose treatment included a double mastectomy, there may be blood or imaging tests to check for other signs that the tumors have returned.
Overall, however, you’re likely to see your doctor every 3 to 6 months for the first 3 years of your monitoring period. In the next 2 years, those visits will be extended to every 6 to 12 months.
Once you get to the 6-year mark, you should visit your doctor annually. Though your risk of recurrence will be less at this point, you can still develop what is known as second cancer. A second cancer is one that is unrelated to the first.
For example, people who have had any type of breast cancer may be more prone to uterine cancer as well.
A Word On Survivorship Care Plans
The details of your treatment and your scheduled monitoring can be a little overwhelming so that’s why some people opt for a survivorship care plan.
These plans are designed to contain all the information pertinent to your care, including everything you’ve undergone during your journey. The documents will also include guidance for looking for signs of