Topic: When To End Relationship with your Oncologist?

Forum: Share Your Experiences Of Life After A Breast Cancer Diagnosis — A place to talk about how your diagnosis has affected you after active treatment ends. Discuss long-term side effects, fears and joys, silver linings and other ways your diagnosis has impacted your life.

Posted on: Jul 18, 2022 01:34PM

Posted on: Jul 18, 2022 01:34PM

priss1 wrote:

Hello friends. I was diagnosed in 2014 with early stage BC. I had a lumpectomy followed by 6 weeks radiation. I then received tamoxifen for a few years followed by letrozole, for a combined total of 8 years, completing therapy in 2021. I was wondering if I should continue to see my oncologist for annual visits even if I (hopefully) continue to have yearly normal mammograms? Curious what others do. Thank you.

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Jul 18, 2022 02:31PM malebreastc wrote:

in my opinion everyone needs lifetime monitoring, I don’t want to scare you but I have had a recurrence 17 years after early stage B

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Jul 18, 2022 05:41PM murfy wrote:

When I finished AIs, my MO and I agreed that my capable internist (who also agreed and was send my files) would handle the totality of my care. If recurrence happens, I'd line up another MO, as my original one didn't like questions or to be handed scientific papers. His loss...

Dx at 62: Oncotype=52; Path (ER=99%, PR=0%, Ki67=55%) Dx 10/2017, DCIS/IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery 11/13/2017 Mastectomy; Mastectomy (Left) Chemotherapy 12/1/2018 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Hormonal Therapy Aromasin (exemestane)
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Jul 18, 2022 06:12PM ruthbru wrote:

Some of my friends were 'dismissed' after 5 years. I had annual visits for 10 (I had a super-cautious oncologist). I have an annual mammogram, check-up with my GP, and do monthly self-checks. So far, so good. 🤞

"Invisible threads are the strongest ties." Friedrich Nietzsche Dx 2/2007, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/11 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Jul 18, 2022 07:25PM lw422 wrote:

I'm sure this depends on the kind of BC a person has and the standards of care. Since I had IBC I will see my oncologist for the rest of my life. For two years I'll be checked every three months, then it goes to every 6 months; then annually.

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Jul 19, 2022 05:04AM gb2115 wrote:

I'm not sure I would mentally tolerate not being seen, but I did have a recurrence once already at year 4, so...

I see both MO and breast surgeon. I imagine I'll see both ladies for a long time.

First Dx IDC in 10/16 at age 38, stage 2A, 1.2 cm ER/PR+ Her2-, Grade 2, 1/3 nodes. Lumpectomy + radiation + tamoxifen. Second Dx IDC recurrence in original location 5/21. 1.3 cm ER/PR+, Her2 -. Grade 2. 2/2 nodes. UMX + AC/T + Zoladex/Exemestane + Zometa.
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Jul 21, 2022 02:28PM jelson wrote:

I was diagnosed with DCIS in 2009, had a lumpectomy, radiation and took tamoxifen for 4.5 years until diagnosed with endometrial cancer. I had stopped seeing my breast surgeon after my post-surgery visit but have continued to see both my medical oncologist and radiation oncologist ever since - now annually. Last year for the first time my RO questioned why he was still seeing me, yet I have another visit scheduled this year! I was switched to a nurse practitioner two years ago at the MO's office. The MO said he wanted to keep me as an active patient just in case - which is both reassuring and scary at the same time.

Dx 4/17/2009, DCIS, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/0 nodes, ER+/PR+
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Jul 21, 2022 11:11PM hapa wrote:

I will see my RO for five years unless there is a recurrence. My MO I will see (or one of his NPs or PAs until I’m off all treatment. I’m on AIs for another 1.5 years at least, possibly longer

Dx 3/20/2018, IDC, Right, 3cm, Stage IIIA, 3/18 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Targeted Therapy 3/28/2018 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Targeted Therapy 3/28/2018 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Chemotherapy 3/28/2018 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 8/22/2018 Lymph node removal; Lymph node removal (Right): Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy; Mastectomy (Right); Prophylactic mastectomy; Prophylactic mastectomy (Left); Reconstruction (Left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (Right): Silicone implant Radiation Therapy 10/22/2018 Whole breast: Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy 12/21/2018 Arimidex (anastrozole), Zoladex (goserelin) Targeted Therapy Nerlynx
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Jul 23, 2022 09:27PM edwards750 wrote:

I disagree we all need lifetime monitoring. I think it depends on the kind of BC you were DX with. I have read the horror stories of BC returning after many, many years (like a poster here) but I don’t believe that’s the norm at all. I have an internist whom I see annually who is perfectly capable of providing advice/referrals if the need arises. Of course I have annual mammograms followed by a visit with my Breast surgeon.


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Jul 24, 2022 12:06AM sadiesservant wrote:

I would only partially agree with you Diane but then, I am one of the “horror stories" (and not alone here BTW). Here in Canada I was monitored by my MO while on treatment after stage 2 disease. That included five years of Tamoxifen and then three years on an AI. I was also monitored by my RO for the intervening years but that was only because I was part of a clinical trial. I didn’t see my surgeon again after the lumpectomy beyond the initial follow up.

It depends on the definition of monitored as, once you have been diagnosed, you are at a higher risk of recurrence and therefore the recommendation is for lifetime annual mammograms (as you note). Who does the monitoring is irrelevant in most cases - it can be an oncologist, a general practitioner or an NP. The important thing is that someone is keeping an eye on things. In addition to the type of BC there are also other considerations such as age at initial diagnosis and family history.

Dx 4/2001, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 1/10 nodes, ER+ Surgery 5/10/2001 Lumpectomy; Lumpectomy (Right); Lymph node removal; Lymph node removal (Right): Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary Chemotherapy 6/7/2001 CEF Radiation Therapy 12/17/2001 Whole breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 12/20/2001 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Hormonal Therapy 1/2/2007 Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy 10/22/2007 Arimidex (anastrozole) Dx 1/3/2017, IDC, Right, Stage IV, metastasized to bone/lungs, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 1/27/2017 Taxol (paclitaxel) Hormonal Therapy 3/28/2017 Arimidex (anastrozole) Targeted Therapy 4/20/2017 Ibrance (palbociclib) Dx 10/12/2017, IDC, Right, Stage IV, metastasized to other Chemotherapy 10/20/2017 Xeloda (capecitabine) Radiation Therapy 11/15/2017 External Local Metastases 11/15/2017 Radiation therapy: Bone Hormonal Therapy 1/18/2018 Faslodex (fulvestrant) Radiation Therapy 8/2/2018 External Local Metastases 8/2/2018 Radiation therapy: Bone Radiation Therapy 11/5/2018 External Local Metastases 11/5/2018 Radiation therapy: Bone Targeted Therapy 10/9/2019 Verzenio Radiation Therapy 11/3/2020 External Local Metastases 11/3/2020 Radiation therapy: Bone Dx 1/22/2021, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IV, metastasized to liver, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 2/4/2021 Xeloda (capecitabine) Chemotherapy 10/8/2021 Other Chemotherapy 1/7/2022 Other
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Jul 24, 2022 01:55AM alicebastable wrote:

I'm curious who all will turn me loose after next year, when it will be my fifth year. I never saw my RO after radiation was done - they just said to call if any problems showed up. My BS said next year will be my last with her, but to continue my yearly mammograms. I was in an odd situation because I had both breast and kidney cancer at the same time. I'm down to yearly CTs for the kidney, and I think five years is the normal follow-up for that. I had endometrial cancer ten years before the others, and I only saw the gynecology oncologist a few times after surgery because he was a patronizing dick. So now I'm really curious if my MO will turn me loose or if she'll still see me to coordinate it all. My BS joked that some MOs hang on to patients until their schedules can't take it or the patient gets sick of them. I'm not taking an anti-hormonal, so the MO just sees me every six months now - but she had me do a nuclear bone scan a few weeks ago to make sure it's just arthritis that showed up on the recent CT. I have a non-cancer thing (aneurysm) that needs to be watched, plus some small lung nodules, so maybe my MO or PCP will still order annual scans. Guess I'll find out next year!

Ignore treatment info (below) which is a BCO glitch. Do not enter personal information on this site since they grossly mishandled a data breach.

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