Follow-up after breast cancer treatment

When treatment ends, you will have regular check-ups with your doctor or contact with your breast care nurse.

Having check-ups

After treatment for breast cancer, you will have regular check-ups with your cancer doctor or regular contact with your breast care nurse.

You will have mammograms every year for 5 years on the other breast. If you have had breast-conserving surgery, you will have mammograms on both breasts. If you have had a double mastectomy, you will not be offered mammograms.

After 5 years, if you are 50 or over, you usually have mammograms through the NHS breast screening programmes. Younger women usually continue to have yearly mammograms after the first 5 years, until they reach 50.

Instead of regular appointments, your nurse may give you information about what to look out for. They will give you contact numbers and ask you to contact them or your cancer doctor if there is anything you are worried about. You may have your follow-up appointments at a nurse-led clinic. This means you will only go to your cancer doctor if something needs to be checked further.

It is natural to feel anxious before appointments. It can help to get support from family, friends or a specialist organisation.

Many people find they get anxious for a while once treatment ends. This is natural. It can help to get support from family, friends or a helpful organisation. 

Macmillan is also here to support you. If you would like to talk, you can: 

Be aware of changes

You may have yearly mammograms, but it is still a good idea to know what is now normal for you. Your treated breast will look and feel different. This will depend on the treatment you had.

Your breast care nurse or cancer doctor can tell you what you to expect and what to check for. It is also important to be aware of what to look out for in your untreated breast.

Breast Cancer Now has information on how to check your breasts.

If you notice anything unusual, contact your cancer doctor or breast care nurse straight away.

About our information

  • Reviewers

    This information has been written, revised and edited by Macmillan Cancer Support’s Cancer Information Development team. It has been reviewed by expert medical and health professionals and people living with cancer. It has been approved by Dr Rebecca Roylance, Consultant Medical Oncologist and Professor Mike Dixon, Professor of Surgery and Consultant Breast Surgeon.

    Our cancer information has been awarded the PIF TICK. Created by the Patient Information Forum, this quality mark shows we meet PIF’s 10 criteria for trustworthy health information.

The language we use

We want everyone affected by cancer to feel our information is written for them.

We want our information to be as clear as possible. To do this, we try to:

  • use plain English
  • explain medical words
  • use short sentences
  • use illustrations to explain text
  • structure the information clearly
  • make sure important points are clear.

We use gender-inclusive language and talk to our readers as ‘you’ so that everyone feels included. Where clinically necessary we use the terms ‘men’ and ‘women’ or ‘male’ and ‘female’. For example, we do so when talking about parts of the body or mentioning statistics or research about who is affected.

You can read more about how we produce our information here.

Date reviewed

Reviewed: 01 October 2023
Next review: 01 October 2026
Trusted Information Creator - Patient Information Forum
Trusted Information Creator - Patient Information Forum

Our cancer information meets the PIF TICK quality mark.

This means it is easy to use, up-to-date and based on the latest evidence. Learn more about how we produce our information.