|Breast Cancer In Young Women|
|Breast Cancer In Young Women|
|Understanding Breast Cancer||Survivorship Phases|
|Understanding Metastatic Breast Cancer||Survivor Stories|
|Young Women at High Risk||Statistics and Disparities|
|Getting Back That Evening Dress Look||Living Your Best: Quality of Life|
|Handling the Details||Research|
|For Caregivers||Healthcare Professionals|
|Partners And Sponsors|
When you finish treatment, a new stage in your life begins. Women sometimes describe the first few months as a time of change and anxiety. Survivors often say they arrive at new and important understandings and life takes on new meaning. Expect things to keep changing as you begin your recovery. It's not so much "getting back to normal" as it is finding out what's normal for you now. That might mean examining your diet, activities or your sources of support.
This page offers tips for your post-treatment life, including:
Making the most of your
Drawing on YSC's
For a comprehensive guide about life after treatment, you may order or download What’s Next: A Young Woman’s Post-Treatment Navigator.
After treatment ends, you still have important medical business to attend to: follow-up care. This means regular checkups to test for recurrence (your cancer’s return) or metastasis (your cancer’s spread). Doctors also screen for other types of cancer and for any difficulties caused by your treatment. Most women have checkups every 3–4 months for the first 2–3 years and once or twice a year after that. Empower yourself to get the most out of your checkups by taking an active role in your follow-up care.
Bring a list of questions with you to appointments. Here are some common ones:
Don’t forget to ask for additional resources or better explanations if you need them. Ensure you have a chance to ask all your questions and request more time at your next appointment or ask if you can call. You can also bring a supportive friend or relative to take notes and ask questions, you might forget to ask. Keep your own record of your visits and consider keeping copies of all your tests for your own records as well.
During each visit, tell your doctor about any symptoms, pain and/or physical or emotional problems you might have. Share any medicines or other treatments you’re undergoing and discuss any changes in your family medical history, including new cancers.
You can play an extremely important role in monitoring for a recurrence. Many times recurrences aren’t spotted for the first time at follow-up meetings—often women suspect or find recurrences themselves between appointments. So stay vigilant for changes to your health, and tell your doctor about anything disconcerting. Remember, however, that many health changes will come from something unrelated to your cancer. Talk to your doctor, and you can be certain. Ask your doctor what rule he or she uses for reporting a symptom. For example, they may ask you to be in touch if a symptom lasts longer than two weeks.
Understanding your family history can help you and your doctor better comprehend your risks for other types of cancers. This helps you choose the right follow-up screenings and tests. Create a chart of your family’s medical history. For each blood relation, include:
YSC offers a network of support and array of resources as you enter the post-treatment phase of your cancer experience. You may order or download What’s Next? A Young Woman’s Post-Treatment Navigator or find local and national resources in our ResourceLink database. Explore our website and learn more about complementary modalities, quality of life and practical concerns.
Finally, you are always welcome to join our efforts to make life better for all survivors. Turn your experience and passion into action as a breast cancer advocate.