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Breast Cancer: Post Treatment: 6 Months Plus: Medical Care

Prepare For Follow-Up Visits With Your Doctors

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There are likely to be follow up visits with each of your oncologists. There are usually also periodic imaging tests.

Show up for all follow-up appointments and tests.

As with all doctor appointments, it is advisable to prepare for your appointments. For instance:

  • Keep track of your symptoms, if any. (We provide a Symptoms Diary to make it easier).
  • Keep track of questions as they arise so you don't forget them. (You can do that on our Prioritizer. Then, before you go to the appointment, you can reorder your questions to your priority with the click of a button).
  • Take blood tests and imaging scan tests prior to the meeting so you can go over the results while you are with the doctor.
  • If you haven't already, learn how to maximize your time with your doctor.

Depending on what works for you, consider seeing all your doctors on one day, or purposefully spreading visits so you have set occasions to ask questions and talk about symptoms that don’t seem serious enough for an immediate call.

Ask each doctor what to look for which would trigger an immediate phone call.

Figure out which of your doctors to call about what.

Decide which of your doctors is in charge of your overall health. It could be your primary care doctor, your gynecologist or one of your oncologists. Be sure he or she agrees to the position. Make sure all doctors report notes about each appointment to your primary doctor. Remind each doctor you see after each visit to report notes about each appointment to your primary doctor. If you are keeping your own journal (which we recommend that you do), a copy should be sent to you as well.

If you do not like your experience with your oncologist, and can’t get over glitches in your relationship, consider changing doctors. Your oncologist will be in your life for a long time – possibly for the rest of your life.

NOTE: It is advisable to keep your own copy of your medical records for future reference and in case you see a new doctor. If you haven’t done it before, get a copy and put it in your files. Start keeping it to date.

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