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Follow-up care after breast cancer

Posts: 6
Joined: Feb 2001

Hi! I finished chemo in March and radiation in May. Went to the doc today and he gave me the choice of regular follow-ups, with just a physical, yearly mammogram and pelvic (I'm on tamoxifen) or all that plus lab tests. He gave me an article from the New England journal of medicine (October 2000) that indicates that blood marker tests, etc. don't make any difference in early detection or survival rates. Any info. out there to help me decide?

Posts: 682
Joined: Feb 2001

I had a lumpectomy January 2, chemo beginning feb 7 - Friday June22 my third taxol ( had the AC) and never had any scans etc. My doctors at the cancer center I am treated at (part of the NCI) told me early scans are usually negative whether they really are or not because micro cancer cells are too tiny to be picked up.

Yet many people get scans anyway - I think fewer scans is the newer way to go - partly to save money, party to reduce needless radiation to the patient, and partly because they are very often not accurate.

Ask some questions of www.google.com - I think I will do that too!

Good Luck, Jean

Posts: 1
Joined: Jun 2001


My oncologist has not done any scans or baselines and does not suggest it. I was early stage 2 (bilateral), estrogen and progestogen positive and her2neu+ with 2 positive nodes. I had a double mastectomey, 4 AC, 4 taxotere and 28 radiations. I just finished last month, and I don't think I'll have any markers done. I am beginning to feel stronger and if I feel OK I don't see the need. But, I will probably have my ovaries removed before the end of the year to prevent any chance of ovarian cancer. By the way, I am 41 with 2 samll children. Let me know what you decide - I am on the fence about this, but I trust my onc. and am so fed up with doctors... I'll ask about the tests again at my 3 month visits in September.

Best of luck.

pamtriggs's picture
Posts: 407
Joined: Sep 2000

Hi. I am a strong believer in blood marker tests. In my case they have pretty well mapped the course of the metatsatic disease. As soon as my marker levels start to rise before too long a new tumor appears. My onco says this is not always the case but I seem to be strongly indicative like that so he does my markers every week while I am still in active disease stage. When I have beaten it he will reduce to 3 monthly checks but will always include blood marker tests. Love Pam

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