I'm in remission

Becoming a Survivor

Learn strategies for continuing your fight against cancer in Your Guide to Cancer Care.

When your cancer is in remission, you can arm yourself with the tools necessary to coexist with the reality of cancer — dealing with long-term side effects, guarding against recurrence, facing each new challenge as it arises, and perhaps benefiting from new therapies.

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Questions to ask your doctor

  • What is the extent of my remission? Is it partial or complete?
  • How long can I expect to continue feeling pain or any side effects from treatment?
  • Words to Know

    Remission means that after treatment, tests show that there is no longer cancer in the body, though some undetectable cancer cells may remain. Partial remission means that there’s been a decrease in the size of the tumor or the extent of cancer in the body in response to treatment.

  • What are my chances of having a recurrence?
  • What are common symptoms I should look out for that may mean I’ve had a recurrence or be a sign of another problem?
  • What can I do to improve my body image?
  • What options do I have for breast reconstruction?
  • Where can I find out about breast cancer support groups run by professional counselors?
  • What are common emotional effects of being in remission, and what can I do to combat negative feelings or anxiety?
  • When can I get back to a normal routine?
  • What are steps I can take to lower my chances of a recurrence, stay healthy, and reduce stress?

Next steps

1. Make a clear follow-up plan with your doctor and stick with it. Even if you’re feeling great, it’s still important to follow your doctor’s recommendations for regular check-ups and screenings.

Financial Planning

Get your finances in the best possible shape after a bout with cancer with Your Guide to Cancer Care.

2. Keep a copy of your medical records. It’s important to have a complete record of your previous treatments on hand so that any healthcare providers you work with can be well-informed about your history.

3. Get your financial and legal affairs in order. Cancer can take a toll on your financial life as well. If you haven’t already, now’s a good time to get organized.

4. Re-evaluate your goals and refocus your priorities. Surviving cancer gives you a unique opportunity to reconsider your values and goals and reaffirm the relationships with family and friends that are important to you.

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