Your continuing care is based on the latest medical evidence provided by NICE (the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence):
- You have completed your hospital check-ups for the recommended time.
- You need to remain 'Breast Aware' for your lifetime (see the Breast Awareness Leaflet you will be given)
- You should continue taking any hormonal tablets e.g. Tamoxifen, Arimidex, Letrozole etc. that we have prescribed, and you should have been advised for how long you need to take them. Your GP will supply these tablets. Do be sure to know if you need to change these drugs at any determined time in the future. Your hospital consultant will give you this information.
- You may be offered further annual mammograms. In many cases this is for 5 more years but may be different depending on the type of cancer. We will arrange this for you.
- Results from mammograms performed after discharge will be sent to your GP. If there are any concerns, your GP will be asked to refer you back to the breast clinic.
- We will see you promptly in the Breast Clinic if you have any new or future problems which you think may be connected to breast cancer. (See 'What changes should I be reporting' under next heading). You should contact your GP, who may then refer you to the breast clinic.
What changes should I be reporting?
- Any change to either breast, for example
- New lump(s) in breast, neck or armpit
- Spots, rash or lump(s) around the scar
- A rash, discharge or pulled-in appearance of the nipple
- Puckering or dimpling of skin
- Swelling of the arm on side of breast surgery
- Unexpected vaginal bleeding
- Unexplained nausea, loss of appetite or weight loss
- Problems which do not respond to simple remedies, e.g.
- A Unexplained breathlessness or persistent dry cough
- A Persistent headache or change in your vision
- A Persistent pain in bones
- Unexplained tiredness
You may feel anxious that the reassurance of regular examinations is at an end. Some others will be relieved of the anxiety associated with hospital appointments.
It is usual for people to be concerned about breast cancer returning. The first person to notice changes in the breast is usually you.
If you have a new breast problem please contact your GP. An appropriate appointment will then be arranged for you.
Do remember your support network is still in place for you.
Telephone numbers of Breast Care Nurses:
- Ashford Hospital 01784 884411
- St. Peter's Hospital 01932 722771
To change appointments please telephone: 01784 884351 (between 9am to 5pm).
- ABC (Ashford Breast Cancer) Support Group:
Sally Eggett 0208 890 9536
- Breast Cancer Care – National Helpline: 0808 800 6000
or visit: www.breastcancercare.org.uk
- Macmillan Cancer Support: 0808 808 0000
- Breast Prosthesis Fitting Service:
Contact Breast Care Nurses at St. Peter's Hospital.
- Lymphoedema Service:
Contact Breast Care Nurses at either hospital.