First annual follow up

I was due my first annual follow up last month, but still haven’t received an appointment for mammogram or clinic. I was told last year that I would be seen on the anniversary of my surgery and that a mammogram would be organised by the clinic. Is it normal to be overdue this long, nearly 2 months.
I didn’t have the best experience with the breast clinic and don’t really expect much from them, but thought this bit might have gone a bit more smoothly. I do feel anxious about going as I still have some breast pain and fear recurrence as the tumour was close to the chest wall with very close margins. Also I have had some changes on lung CT following radiotherapy which is causing me some worry as well - still in diagnostic phase with respiratory clinic.
How long is it normal to wait for follow up or am I being impatient.
Thank you reading and any advice you can give me.

Hi Katharine, I don’t know if this is normal to be overdue 2mo as I’m based in Switzerland, but if I were you I would call the breast clinic and ask them when to expect the appointment.
In my case, I reminded my Oncologist (I still see her every month for blood checks) that I was due soon my first annual MRI and she made the appointment. I had the breast MRI today and will have the results next Tuesday :four_leaf_clover:
Hope you get your follow up soon

I have been the one to initiate my annual screenings since diagnosis. The first year I didn’t know what would happen in terms of arranging so I called my surgeon’s PA who just booked me in for the mammo. This year I held off thinking I’d get called up but by about two week after I was due I hadn’t heard so called up the PA again and got booked in. I think we have to still advocate very much for ourselves even after completing active treatment.

If it offers any comfort, while waiting this time I started experiencing pain in my “good” breast but after getting the all clear the pain has miraculously gone. I honestly think it was psychosomatic because of the anticipation. No wonder really given how traumatic a BC diagnosis can be!

I hope this helps and fingers crossed for all clear results when you get there :slight_smile:

I have had both my first and second annual checks in the same month my surgery was signed off (before starting chemo). My appointments are sent about a month before without any prompting from me.

Hi Katharine

Thanks for posting.

It’s understandable you are asking about when your follow up should be in addition to having concerns about breast pain and recurrence.

The type of follow up people are offered after a breast cancer diagnosis does vary, but usually happens on the anniversary of your breast surgery, as your treatment team have previously stated. It can cause anxiety to contact your team when you haven’t had the best experience, but as you don’t have a follow up appointment it is important to ring them to check it has not been missed as @KChest and @Maria911 suggest.

Nearly everyone who has been treated for cancer worries about it coming back (recurrence) and you’re not alone in being anxious about this. The uncertainty and fear of breast cancer returning is very real. It’s understandable you want to talk this through with your treatment team as the tumour you had was close to the margins and chest wall. Which is another reason you should chase up your follow up appointment.

You may benefit from talking therapy, such as counselling, to explore ways of managing these worries and concerns which you could speak to your treatment team or GP about this.

It’s common to feel some pain and discomfort immediately after surgery for breast cancer and in the weeks that follow. As healing takes place, these effects usually subside but for some people they can persist, and we know this can cause worry and affect quality of life. As you breast pain is persisting, we would suggest you talk this through with your treatment team as they are best placed to assess you and explore different ways of controlling this pain.

Adapting to life after treatment can be difficult and often the need for information and support continues.

You may be interested in our Moving Forward resources that are for people who have had a diagnosis of primary breast cancer and have come to the end of their main hospital treatment within the last 2 years. They include our Moving Forward booklet and our Moving Forward courses.

You may also find it helpful to talk to someone who has had a similar experience as you. Our Someone Like Me service can match you with a trained volunteer who’s had a similar experience to you. You can be in touch with your volunteer by phone or email and they can share their personal experiences to answer your questions, offer support or simply listen to how you are feeling. You are also welcome to call our helpline if you would like to talk this through or have any further questions. The helpline team have time to listen, talk things through and signpost you to more support and information if necessary. Your call will be confidential, and the number is free from UK landlines and all mobile networks. The number is 0808 800 6000, (Relay UK -prefix 18001).

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Best wishes


Breast Care Nurse

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