Follow-Up Care for TNBC

August 31, 2015

The schedule for follow-up care for triple-negative breast cancerinfo-icon is the same as it is for other types of breast cancer.  After treatment ends, you will see your doctor:

  • During the first 3 years after treatment: Every 3 to 6 months
  • During years 4 and 5 after treatment: Every 6 to 12 months
  • Five years or more after treatment: Once a year

If you had a lumpectomyinfo-icon or a single mastectomyinfo-icon, you will get a mammograminfo-icon or MRIinfo-icon on the remaining breast or breasts.

Be sure to bring your questions to follow-up appointments. Tell your oncologistinfo-icon about any new headaches, pains or problems that are out of the ordinary, severe or last longer than usual. Most recurrences are found through physical exams and thorough health histories.

You can take control of your follow-up care. Work with your healthcare providers to create a treatment summary and a plan of action for your post-treatment care, also called a survivorship care plan.

You probably won’t get any more tests and scans after treatment than would a woman with another type of breast cancer. Large clinicalinfo-icon trials show that women with early-stageinfo-icon, triple-negative breast cancer who have routine CT scans and blood tests to check for cancer return during the follow-up period do not do better or live longer than those who don’t get the tests. Regular testing can lead to extra tests and surgeries that cause anxietyinfo-icon and could create more medical problems.

Not having routine tests and scans after treatment may increase your fears. You may even feel powerless. Pay attention to your body, and don’t hesitate to contact your doctor if you are not feeling well.

If you have a very high risk of developing a new breast cancer, studies show that digital mammography and MRI may be used together to help your doctor see breast changes. Breast MRI can also find changes that are not cancer, though. You may have to go through biopsies to find out.