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Uterine cancer...mammogram

Janissi1
Posts: 34
Joined: Mar 2017

Hi everyone,

I was recently diagnosed with ovarian cancer in February 2017. I had a complete hysterecomy on May 5, 2017, and when the pathology report came back, I was told I had not only ovarian cancer, but uterine cancer. My chemo regimen changed (they removed one of the ovarian cancer treatment meds and added another med for the uterine cancer.)

I was told that uterine/ovarian cancer can metastisize to the breast. In fact, it happened to my relative's friend. His wife had a complete hysterecomy and just found out she had breast cancer.

I'm very concerned. What are your thoughts on this subject.

Note: If this subject has been exhausted, please let me know.

Thanks so much!

 

janaes
Posts: 800
Joined: May 2016

janissi1, hello welcome to our board.  No one wants to have to be here, but I will tell you this is a wonderful support group of wonderful women.  Lots of wisdom and knoledge here.  I can tell you when I was diagnosed with uterine cancer in May 2017 and I had my oncologist picked out, he found ou that I had never had a mamagram. I was 43 at the time.  He immediatly ordered one for me.  I didnt want to do it but did.  My results came back clean.  I think if it would help you feel better to get a mamagram I would say do it.  I wouldnt worry yourself about if you have it or not because you dont know if you do.  Thats hard to do I know but if you can do that it will help you the most.  

With lots of love Janae

NoTimeForCancer's picture
NoTimeForCancer
Posts: 2800
Joined: Mar 2013

Janissi, ovarian cancer and breast cancer do seem to go together, and I think some of the ladies have had genetic testing since there are markers on this.  (No - I don't think this topic has been exhausted)

I know we "chatted" on the ovarian board, but do you know what kind of uterine cancer you had?  Was it a low grade "typical garden variety" or a high grade (3) cancer?  Those of us with the aggressive (Type II) Grade 3 cancers have received similar treatment to how they treat Ovarian cancer.   I was at a conference and asked if women with the aggressive uterine cancer warriors needed to see how they are treating Ovarian cancers for ourselves?  (I really didn't get an answer)

I know "with our history" we always need to be on the look out for what our body is doing.  Mammograms are a must, and it takes awhile to figure out what your new normal is after this has all ended. 

One cancer is enough for anyone, I am sorry to hear what you are having to battle.

Janissi1
Posts: 34
Joined: Mar 2017

Thank you for your heartfelt welcome. Laughing I'm sure all of us would not choose to be here, but since we are, the support is amazing!  It has been a live saver for me.

I'm very happy your mammogram came back clean. I'm sure you were relieved and thrilled. I decided to have a mammogram to put my mind at ease.

Thanks so much for your reply. It helped a lot.

Kvdyson's picture
Kvdyson
Posts: 789
Joined: Jan 2016

I haven't had a mammogram since my diagnosis but have been getting PET/CT scans from the base of my neck to the top of my thighs so I'm guessing that it would pick-up on anything suspicious in my breasts, too. Are you getting any type of scans with your treatment?

beccabtown's picture
beccabtown
Posts: 234
Joined: May 2016

I'm overdue for a mammogram and really don't want to have one now because I'm afraid of damaging my port. I asked my oncologist if CT scans pick up breast tumors and she said no.  (I've noticed that radiologists' reports never mention breast tissue, which suggests that they can't see it on the scans or aren't looking.)

I know the question of mammograms with ports has been discussed on the board before and most people said it was not a problem. I'm not too concerned about discomfort but really don't want the port to be squeezed or messed with in any way.

BTW, once again I'm surprised by what my oncologists don't know--such as how mammograms are actually done in this kind of situation. Surely most of the gyn-onc's patients have ports and mammograms.

 

Kaleena's picture
Kaleena
Posts: 2033
Joined: Nov 2009

Actually, they can pick up stuff they just don't mention it because it is vague compared to a mammogram.   I just had a CT scan today and it actually indicated that I have a indeterminate 1 cm left breast nodule which appears stable since my last PET/CT.  However, they didn't mention it at all in the report the last time.  And it said it is probably nothing but they recommend further evaluation with mammography.

I had mammograms with my port.   However, they don't smash you down like the other side.  And my port was twisted too.

CheeseQueen57's picture
CheeseQueen57
Posts: 935
Joined: Feb 2016

That's why I got my mammogram at my cancer center. They were super careful about the port  I got all my previous mammo films so they would have those for comparison. 

Rebecca75
Posts: 5
Joined: Jun 2017

I did that too.  Everything at the same hospital -- they were used to doing mammograms on women with ports.  I had no troubles.  They are in the same medical system as my docs.  Everything was good.

SandyD's picture
SandyD
Posts: 130
Joined: Oct 2015

My understanding (and I may be wrong) is that uterine cancer doesn't metastasize to the breast (although it can metastasize to lots of other places). However, that being said, we are still at very high risk for secondary cancers, breast cancer particularly among them. This is especially the case given the amount of radiation most of us with high grade cancers receive through radiation treatments and CT scans. I would also suspect that anyone who has had cancer once may be more likely to have some genetic predisposition to cancer. So mammograms, YES, absolutely!  

Nellasing
Posts: 529
Joined: Oct 2016

Has anyone looked into this?  I put it in the search and nothing is coming up.  They are wanting me to get a mammogram every 6 months!  I can't see that level of radiation will be helpful and could potentially be harmful.  I follow the Truth About Cancer and found this on the topic if anyone wants to look at it  https://thetruthaboutcancer.com/mammography-vs-thermography-video/ and I am super interested in anyone having experience or having done research.  Thank you in advance <3

Editgrl's picture
Editgrl
Posts: 903
Joined: Jun 2015

I have done a bit of research into this as I have dense breasts. So far, I have not seen any reputable research that says it is as good as a mammogram.  they are available in my area for $250. I am still looking for the best option for me as my mammogram is coming due in a few months.

NoTimeForCancer's picture
NoTimeForCancer
Posts: 2800
Joined: Mar 2013

Chris, I just had a woman at work tell me they thought they had found something suspicious on her mom's mammogram and the follow up was a 3D mammogram - a tomosynthesis.  I don't know if they only do the 3D mammogram as a follow up or if it is used for dense breasts.  

Editgrl's picture
Editgrl
Posts: 903
Joined: Jun 2015

I have heard of this but I haven't really investigated it. I will definitely look into it.

Cass83's picture
Cass83
Posts: 151
Joined: Feb 2017

I asked my oncology gyno about having mammograms since I have had PET and CT Scans. She said it would have to be big for those to pick one up, so yes to have the mammogram. I will do that a few months after treatments end (I am done with chemo and start brachytherapy Tuesday). I also have Lynch syndrome, so I get to have Colonoscopies every 1-2 years now as well.

 

Double Whammy's picture
Double Whammy
Posts: 2828
Joined: Jun 2010

I answered your question on the breast cancer board, but will add that l had breast MRIs in addition to mammograms for the first 5 years after diagnosis.  They are not routine but were approved via my insurance company because I thought I felt something in my "other" breast.  My pcp also thought she felt something and mammogram and ultrasound was clear and my pcp said she'd just never forgive herself if she didn't order an MRI.  Turned out everything was fine, but a breast MRI is another way to go and I just felt really good about having both a mammogram and MRI, spaced 6 months apart. I had my cancers in 2010 and now I no longer have the MRIs.   I don't know if having a port in place is enough to warrant an MRI vs. mammogram but it never hurts to ask. 

Suzanne

Suzanne

takingcontrol58
Posts: 261
Joined: Jan 2016

I too have dense breasts so I always got an ultrasound along with a mammogram.  The only thing an ultrasound can't see that
a mammogram does is calcifications.

Personally, I do not believe it is worth the risk to keep adding radiation to my body so after my diagnosis of endometrial cancer, I now 
only get annual breast ultrasounds, though this year, I may get a 3D ultrasound.  My last mammogram two years ago was a 3D mammogram. 
It is important to be aware of changes in your body.  Remember, cancer does not grow along with the schedule of your mammograms. Many
women who have had breast cancer discovered a lump after their mammogram was clear.

I do get blood markers that test for breast cancer - CA 15-5. Also tested for IGF-1 (insulin growth factor), which it is believed causes
dense breasts.  IGF is also linked to endometrial cancer. My levels were very high when my cancer metastasized.  I also test for
estrogen (estradiol) and progesterone. Blood markers will tell you  well in advance if anything might be developing in your body. 
A mammogram will tell you if you have cancer, but it only shows up when it is a certain size.   It could still be growing and that
is why blood markers are better indicators of what is going on inside.

Takingcontrol58

Soup52's picture
Soup52
Posts: 903
Joined: Jan 2016

I had my annual mammogram with my port in and had no problem at all. At my Susan Komen center two types of mammograms are offered. I had the usual normal one. The other kind involves more radiation and since I've had plenty of that, it was not recommended that I have the more intensive kind.

Tarans
Posts: 13
Joined: May 2014

beccabtown, ask your oncologist group to recommend someone for the mammogram.  When you make your appointment, make sure that you ask for the technicians/nurse who has experience working with a port.  There is no reason to delay- lots of techs/nurses are trained to work with ports.

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