Upon completion of therapy for primary breast cancer (surgical, radiation, and chemotherapy if required) surveillance is life long. Physical exam every 3 months and blood tests every 6 months is recommended for 2 to 3 years. Thereafter, bi-annual surveillance is recommended from year 3 to 10 and then annually thereafter.
In general, unless a patient is at very high risk for recurrence, bone scans, CAT, MRI and PET-CT scans are not performed routinely. For women who have not had bilateral mastectomies, mammography is done annually, but sometimes more frequently if the involved breast was treated with breast conservation.
For patients with metastatic breast cancer, visits are more frequent typically once a month depending on the types of treatments a patient is receiving.