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First Mammogram after treatment

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ars31178
ars31178 Member Posts: 11

I have my first mammogram after treatment on May 13 and I am really nervous. I know that it should be okay, because they got it all with clean margins and no lymph node involvement. But I have test anxiety for sure. Also, I had a seroma develop in the arm pit area and it had to be drained twice and leaked out of the incision for 8 weeks. That area is still pretty sore and also where I had partial breast radiation is still pretty tender. So is the mammogram going to hurt? Does fluid show up on a mammogram?

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  • needs.a.nap
    needs.a.nap Member Posts: 188
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    Hello @ars31178. That does sound like it may be a bit uncomfortable. Have you seen or spoken with your breast surgeon recently and are they aware of you having a mammogram? I’m sort of wondering the same thing about if I can have a mammogram on my newly reduced breast and do they even do mammograms of a reconstructed implant breast? These are questions I need to ask my plastic surgeon and breast surgeon before my next mammogram appointment. My breast surgeon does ultrasound at each appointment so that’s at least some monitoring but I just can’t imagine any mammogram compression on my tender breasts for a very long time. Sigh. I’m sorry you have lingering pain and discomfort!!

  • exbrnxgrl
    exbrnxgrl Member Posts: 4,952
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    To answer one of your questions, no, mammograms are not done on mastectomy patients, implant or not. Remember, there is no underlying breast tissue left after a mastectomy. Compressing implants during a mammo serves no purpose (there is no breast tissue to examine) and would likely rupture the implant.

  • ctmbsikia
    ctmbsikia Member Posts: 757
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    Hi, congrats on finishing your treatment. I remember being where you are and feeling the same with anxiety before a test or appointment. Get used to the words, "post-surgical changes" -as they may note that on your report since obviously your breast is going to look much different in comparison than before. I will say going forward it should get a little easier with each one coming back OK-or all clear as we gals like to say.

    I had a seroma adjacent to where my tumor was and the scar tissue that formed there during the first 3 years caused me to have mammos and MRIs performed often. I hated it. I ultimately went through 1 post treatment biopsy of that area, and it is fine, is fat necrosis. Seromas take their good old time healing,

    Surely the mammo will likely be a little uncomfortable, but as you know it's only for a few seconds. Tech told me once that the cancer patients are so much better with cooperating than normal people. Good luck on the 13th. Let us know how it goes.

  • ars31178
    ars31178 Member Posts: 11
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    @needs.a.nap As others said, I don't thing you will be receiving a mammogram, I am sure there will be different testing for you. Yes, my breast surgeon is the one that set up the mammogram, I see her the day after. I am sure it will be tender, but it doesn't last long. Or at least I am telling myself that. My cancer was found at a routine yearly mammogram, so I went in thinking nothing and then got a call back, and the nightmare began. I am sure that is why the anxiety is high, I did not have any symptoms or lump that can be felt external.

  • ars31178
    ars31178 Member Posts: 11
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    @ctmbsikia Thank you for responding. My oncologist already said that she felt like the area that was radiated would definitely show some "post surgical changes", it is still pretty firm in that area. I had partial accelerated radiation, so a lot in one area. So I am definitely expecting that. I feel like there is still fluid in the arm pit incision, does that show up on a mammogram?

  • maggie15
    maggie15 Member Posts: 999
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    @ars31178 , Fluid in the tissue does not show up on a mammogram whereas a fluid filled cyst might. The mammo does show the area where the breast meets the axilla so that will be evaluated. You will most likely get the "post surgical changes" comment. Since you are not that far out from surgery some swelling is normal. You do want to keep an eye on that since it can turn into lymphedema which is generally diagnosed by clinical assessment. If it doesn't improve over time or gets worse referral to a LE specialist would be in order. I ended out with breast LE but it can affect your arm or trunk area. Luckily I'm in a clinical trial where perometry and bioimpedence spectroscopy measurements were taken pre-surgery and are followed over time. There is something new called the LymphaTech 3D scanner that has upcoming clinical trials.

    I have nerve damage in my right breast and mammograms are very painful even three years out. I let the tech know before the screening starts and they are careful not to compress any more than required to get a good image. I have meds to take afterward to dull the pain for a while and have to up my gabapentin dose for a few weeks. I asked about doing less painful imaging but my SO said that some things can only be seen on a mammogram so I just deal with it. You might want to ask about taking ibuprofen or acetaminophen an hour before the test since that can help. I hope your mammogram doesn't hurt too much and that you get good results.

  • ars31178
    ars31178 Member Posts: 11
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    Got the results of my 6 month mammogram. Everything looks to be clear, will have another diagnostic mammogram in 6 months. It was uncomfortable but did not hurt as bas as I thought it would. Just wanted to update.

  • maggie15
    maggie15 Member Posts: 999
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    I'm glad you got a clear result and it was not too uncomfortable. Thanks for letting us know.