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Understanding Treatment > Monitoring Treatment

Monitoring Treatment

You may be monitored regularly to see if your breast cancer is responding to treatment or progressing. How well a treatment works may depend on location and progression of the cancer, and what treatments have already been used. Monitoring tests may include:1,2

  • Physical exam
  • Blood tests and lab tests (including liver function and biomarker tests)
  • Imaging tests (such as X-ray, CT scan, PET scan, bone scan)

Getting these tests on a regular schedule can also help you and your doctor determine any side effects that you may have, so you can better manage them.

It is not uncommon for your body to stop responding to some medications over time, so you may need to change treatments. It is important to talk with your doctor about the goals of each treatment and what symptoms and side effects you might expect while receiving the treatment.

Where to next? Learn about managing treatment >


  1. American Society of Clinical Oncology. Breast Cancer - Metastatic: Types of Treatment. Accessed July 23, 2020.
  2. American Cancer Society. Cancer Staging. diagnosis/staging.html. Accessed July 24,2020.
  3. National Cancer Institute. Breast cancer treatment (PDQ®)–patient version. Accessed June 26, 2019.
  4. Bone pain. Managing Side Effects. effects/bone-pain.aspx. Accessed November 29, 2019.