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do you do breast self-exams after mastectomy

Posts: 446
Joined: Jan 2008

I had a double mastectomy and have not been doing breast self-exams. My breast surgeon asked me if I was doing them, but then she said I didn't 'have to.' I feel like I probably should be doing them, but I go see my onc and breast surgeon every 3 months and part of me feels they know better what to look for.

I was wondering, do you other women who have had mastectomies still examine your reconstructed breasts yourselves? Or not...


Posts: 92
Joined: Mar 2009

I had a right mastectomy on April 7. I did not have immediate reconstruction because I am going to do radiation. My surgeon told me last week to continue self exams. He said that at this point any recurrence would show up as a lump just under the skin. I go back in a month to see his nurse practioner and to see him in 4 months. Of course I have to do self exams on the left also and today I had a "normal"(haven't heard that word lately) mammogram on the left side.

The one thing my doctor reminded me of is that we know our bodies better than anyone and even though our bodies have changed it is important to be familiar with the "new" us. I found my lump through self exam (actually my hubby found it) so "we" will definitely continue self exams.

phoenixrising's picture
Posts: 1511
Joined: Feb 2007

I can't remember what or if I was told anything about that but I continue to do a self exam every once in a while.

Posts: 1
Joined: Jan 2013

I am now wondering if I should be doing monthly self exams since I have had a bilateral mastectomy and the diep flap reconstruction?

VickiSam's picture
Posts: 9085
Joined: Aug 2009

I also had a bilateral mastectomy with implants --  I do monthly exams.  When I go in to see my Oncologist or Plastic Surgeon ==  they both perform exams as well.


Vicki Sam

Lynn Smith
Posts: 1265
Joined: Mar 2011

My sister just had her surgery end of July.She had a double masectomy.Cancer in both breasts.She is bragging about no more mammos. She said that is the best part.No more for the rest of her life.

I promised I would do self exams but did alack off.I've found several tumors through the years and my husband found one.Those were benign.Doctors also found a few. Just this one itty bitty cancerous one was found during a mammo.Doctor had checked me just 5 months before but it was very very small.  

Lynn Smith    

Posts: 1191
Joined: Dec 2010

I had DCIS, so my cancer was confined to the milk ducts. I had a bilateral mastectomy with no reconstruction. I am told to do monthly exams on myself and get a clinical exam once a year. In the clinical exam the doctor feels my chest, armpits, and up my neck.Because I had DCIS with BMX, I am told that ultrasounds and MRI's are not needed unless there is somethign suspect that pops up. Once a year,my dentist does a screening for oral cancer as well (the dentists in that office do it regardless of history of cancer or not).

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