follow up after treatments

quiltnut1950 Member Posts: 4
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
I just finished all treatments and was wondering how do the doctors know if they worked?

I asked my Dr. if there was any blood test or any kind of test we should do to see if they worked. He said no.

He just wants me back in 3 months for an office visit.

Did anyone's Dr. do test to check it your treatments worked?



  • Eil4186
    Eil4186 Member Posts: 949
    No, I don't think there are
    No, I don't think there are any blood tests that can tell us that. My medical oncologist does blood work every time I go for a follow-up visit. I went every 3 months for 3 years and now I go every 6 months. I had a bone scan at the 3 year mark and I still have an MRI every year. I see my radiation onc. every year as well as my surgeon. I guess thats all you can do. They listen to your lungs for signs, feel your liver and lymphnodes for signs, and examine your breasts. All of these things tell them if we are ok or not. Try and be calm, and think positive.
  • sunny_girl
    sunny_girl Member Posts: 33
    Congratulations Mary!!
    CONGRATULATIONS!!! Yea! All done!

    You've asked the main question we all ask... is this nightmare really over? Well, the answer is: it worked if the cancer doesn't show up again. What a useless answer in my opinion!

    Anyway, there are no tests to see if will come back again. Your doctor will give you manual breast exams every time you go in (probably every 3 months for the first year, every 6 months the second year, then annually), and periodic blood tests looking to make sure blood counts are normal, and other markers for cancer (maybe tumor markers, calcium levels, liver panel...) if any of these are abnormal - then more tests. Also mammograms (if you didn't have a mastectomy) every 6 months the first two years, and an annual breast MRI. Also a good idea to have pap smears and pelvic exams every year to catch any gynecological problems since they are more likely after breast cancer diagnosis.

    If you have no abnormal test results or symptoms, then it worked. If you have abnormal results, or find a lump or have unusual pain, then more tests like ultrasound, CT, PET and MRI's, but not needed unless you have symptoms. It gets better over time, but tests are always nerve wracking.

    Right now you are perfectly healthy! It's time to celebrate and get on with your life and general healing.

    Good luck with everything.