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Imaging after mastectomy

debsweb18
Posts: 181
Joined: Jun 2012

I had my annual mammo and ultrasound on the "other" breast. (No cancer. Yeah!) I thought I was going to have an ultrasound on the cancer side. They said there was no order for that and they don't usually do an ultrasound after a mastectomy. Is there any imaging usually done after a mastectomy? Isn't there a chance you could still have a recurrance after a mastectomy? How would you know if you don't feel a lump, like if it's next to the chest wall?

I see my onco doc Monday morning so I want to ask the right questions.

BTW-I like the fact that the imaging company gives me the results right away now instead of making me wait for a letter or the dr to call. I guess they know we're nervous after already having cancer.

Deb

CyndiJW's picture
CyndiJW
Posts: 48
Joined: Sep 2012

I don't think I ever have to have a mammogram again. I was sort of overloaded with info, options, what-ifs at the time, but I am almost positive no more mammograms was part of "The Deal". Just as no MRI needed after biopsy since mastectomy was chosen, right along with the no radiation since double mastectomy was chosen, etc... :). We really do have a lot of information to try to retain during this mind-boggling time, don't we? God only knows how much info I've been given that I did not retain! But I guess that's why we have each other: to ask each other for confirmation and/or opinions before we get to our doctors' appointments. I know you all have really helped me sort through things in my own mind and to come up with questions to ask at my next appointment.

Re your comment about the imaging company, everyone at our imaging center was just SO human, giving me hugs, asking if I minded if they prayed with me (?!), offering positive, encouraging words that seemed really heartfelt. And with the exception of the one that asked to pray, these incidents were all prior to my diagnosis, but during my "call back" for further imaging. People are really amazing!

Forgive my rambling...it's 3:00 a.m. here. Sleeping didn't work very well for me tonight. :(

*Hugs*
Cyndi

Barb A's picture
Barb A
Posts: 100
Joined: Jun 2009

until I found a lump in the reconstructed breast. I had a mastectomy with tram flap reconstruction in 2001 and no imaging was done until I found a lump in 2007. I had a lumpectomy, chemo and radiation to the reconstructed breast. Now I insist on a mammogram on the reconstructed breast. Last October the radiologist saw something on the reconstructed breast again. I had an ultrasound and then a biopsy. Fortunately it was only a seroma and benign.

I'm coming up on my annual mammo in October and am getting nervous. I never used to, but with last years scare, I find myself checking more often. I have noticed some changes and do have an appointment with my onc next week anyway. I have felt better having the mammo done on the reconstructed side even though my onc said it wasn't necessary. I've found otherwise. Better to have it done and catch it early if there is anything there. I may be nervous now, but the peace of mind later is worth it.

Barb A

SIROD's picture
SIROD
Posts: 2076
Joined: Jun 2010

I've been reading online forums since 1997. In all those years, ladies who have had a recurrence in the same breast are probably number less than 5. I can only think of a few, including Miss Renee here. If it returns in the same area as the first time, the chest nodes, or the skin of the scan, it is a local recurrence and treated as such. These are not stage IV recurrence but again, local recurrences.

When cancer is found in the other breast, it could be the same cancer or a brand new one. In all my online the years, I haven't seen many women have a recurrence of a whole different cancer. My best online friend did have that problem. Her left breast had a tumor that was ER+ and the other breast was ER- but HER2+.

I do believe that we can become "over scan" and there isn't any need to have more and more scans. You can't prevent what might happen. You will deal with it in the same manner as the first go round.

You can read it on the following web page, if interested.

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/recurrent-breast-cancer/DS01078/DSECTION=symptoms

http://www.breastcancer.org/symptoms/types/recur_metast/locreg_treat.jsp

Best,

Doris

PS: I have had a regional, 1999, then mets in 2000 and 2008 and every time I knew and the test were to confirm it.

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