If you've been treated for breast cancer, you should continue to practice breast self-exam, checking both the treated area and your other breast each month. You should report any changes to your doctor right away. Breast changes that might indicate a recurrence include:
- An area that is distinctly different from any other area on either breast.
- Lump or thickening in or near the breast or in the underarm that persists through the menstrual cycle.
- A change in the size, shape, or contour of the breast.
- A mass or lump, which may feel as small as a pea.
- A marble-like area under the skin.
- A change in the feel or appearance of the skin on the breast or nipple, including skin that is dimpled, puckered, scaly, or inflamed (red, warm, or swollen)
- Bloody or clear fluid discharge from the nipples
- Redness of the skin on the breast or nipple
In addition to performing monthly breast self-exams, keep your scheduled follow-up appointments with your doctor. During these appointments, your health care provider will perform a breast exam, order lab or imaging tests as needed, and ask you about any symptoms you might have. Initially, these follow-up appointments may be scheduled every three to four months. The longer you are cancer-free, the less often you will need to see your doctor. Continue to follow recommendations on screening mammograms (usually recommended once a year).
This answer should not be considered medical advice...This answer should not be considered medical advice and should not take the place of a doctor’s visit. Please see the bottom of the page for more information or visit our Terms and Conditions.
Archived: March 20, 2014
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