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follow up tests after breast cancer therapy

Posts: 6
Joined: Jun 2010

what kind of tests do you have after breast cancer therapy and how often do you have them?

i had a triple negative breast cancer and my oncologist recommends to have for the first 2 years a PET CT once a year, and once a year mammo and Breast MRI.

I want to avoid the unnecessary radiation exposure and im worry about the PET CT.

Posts: 110
Joined: Jun 2011

I had Stage IIB, Grade 3, HER Pos. cancer, 6 months chemo, lumpectomy, lymph node removal, radiation, Herceptin. Radiation ended Aug. 2010. I have had PET scans every 6 months since, mammogram in Feb. 2011, with another one scheduled early next year. I, too, am concerned about radiation, but I have had a very agressive cancer and dense breasts, the cancer did not show up on the 2009 mammogram and I feel the 6 months PET scans were a necessary evil. If the next PET Scan is negative, maybe I can move to a 1 year with regular 3 months visit to the oncologist and blood tests.
Hugs, Marlene

Posts: 3660
Joined: Aug 2009

I can only tell you what I've done. We are each unique - our DX is ours and not someone else's, and our Dr's are different.

I had a CT the day of last Taxol (Jan 28 2010) as I was starting Rads the next week and Rads Dr wanted it. Bone Scan in June 2010 because of pain in back (just arthritis worse. Mammo in Aug 2010. MRI in Nov 2010 because of 'strange' headaches that only Dex releaved - never figured out exactly why but left after 2 weeks of Dex and never came back. June 2011, another bone scan as back is getting worse (still just the arthritis) and a bone density test (yeh - now have osteoporosis). Have a Mammo scheduled fot Aug. 11.

Thht's what I've had and I'm very comfortable with it. I'm lucky in that my PA (who has the final say on what is ordered) has been with me for 16 yrs - she's fantastic!

But we are all different - I'm IBC, ER+ and 65.


skipper54's picture
Posts: 936
Joined: Feb 2011

We're all different and so are our Drs. I was diagnosed last July and had mammo, MRI, and PET scan. PET scan again in February and mammo 10 days ago. Since last PET was clear there isn't one scheduled again, yet. FOr now it's just yearly mammo BUT MO said a decca scan was in my future. Time will tell I guess but I'm content with what's being done because of my diagnosis and treatments. If I have a concern I"ll push for something more but MO and surgeon have both said complete remission and monitoring.

Posts: 6
Joined: Jun 2010

skipper 54: what was your diagnosis?
what will be your follow up tests and how often?

Posts: 3660
Joined: Aug 2009

Forgot to add - my Rads Drs 'kicked me to the curb' 6 mths after last rad as long aas I se other Drs. In April, my surgeon said he never wants to see me again as long as I see my PA every 6 mths (no prob.) I see my Chemo Dr Aug 25 (6 mths since I saw him) so will find out what he has to say then.


Posts: 2515
Joined: May 2009

I'd have every scan that was offered....I am triple negative also....original diagnosis 2 years ago....now I am in the battle again...If I had had a scan 3-6 months ago, it would have been caught earlier....instead a lump appeared almost over night on my clavicle....we're all different, our cancer unique to each of us...also the small amount of radiation is worth, at least to me, peace of mind or catching something in it's early stages....

Wishing you the best....
Hugs, Nancy

Posts: 6
Joined: Jun 2010

Do you know if PET CT can detect a breast cancer and brain cancer?
I hear different opinions and im very confused.......
we get so much radiation at least to know for sure that PET CT can detect whole body....
I'm very scared now i'm gonna have the PET CT ........2 years since diagnosis and still very scared!!

Nancy: how often did you had a PET CT and how they detect your tumor?

Posts: 6
Joined: Jun 2010

Had a DEXA also which showed osteopenia and now the doctor is thinking of Zometa.
My surgeon suggests Boniva because Zometa is too strong and my oncologist recommends the Zometa because it is used and as anticancer also....
Very confused and don't know waht to do....'
Anyone else having Boniva or Zometa?

Rague: What your doctor suggested for osteoporosis? What treatment?
Did you had a brain MRI or a Breast MRI?

Posts: 6587
Joined: Oct 2010

I go every three months (NOW moved to 4 mths) I have blood work prior to each visit and mammo. I see my rad oncologist and med. oncologist. I take tamoxifen (started 3 yrs ago this month) had to have hysterectomy due to side effects but all is good now..


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