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Topic: Follow up visits w/ MO?

Forum: Life After Breast Cancer —

Managing life after a breast cancer diagnosis, including rediscovering intimacy, coping with fear of recurrence, reconnecting relationships, sharing hobbies and interests, and finding inspiration in daily life.

Posted on: Sep 17, 2020 09:35AM

edj3 wrote:

So I was diagnosed about 17 months ago, I'm done with treatment, I tried tamoxifen and no thanks.

My question is what would be the purpose to continue follow up visits with my MO? I get seeing my RO who's handling my mammos/MRIs. But the MO? What's to track?

Hoping one of you has had the same question and can provide your experiences.

Tried the tamoxifen, no thanks. Dx 4/9/2019, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 5/5/2019 Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Dx 5/6/2019, LCIS, Left, <1cm, 0/1 nodes Radiation Therapy 6/2/2019 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 9/22/2019 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Sep 17, 2020 09:56AM ctmbsikia wrote:

Hi. I think different places/health care systems have differing protocols. I was told the MO is who will be tracking me. For me, it's the breast surgeon ordering the imaging of breasts. My MO does blood work and any other testing (mine does the DEXA and low dose CT lung scan). At some point (soon I hope) BS can turn me back over to my GP for mammo's as well as my MO perhaps after I'm 5 yrs out which is what I was told when this started. I was done with the RO post visit from treatment.

I haven't been to my GP in over a year, and now thanks to covid I'm not calling. They are at least refilling my statin so I just don't see calling for an appt. unless I'm sick.

Dx 12/14/2017, DCIS/IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 1/16/2018, LCIS, Right Surgery 1/30/2018 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 4/10/2018 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 6/25/2018 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Sep 17, 2020 10:16AM Beesie wrote:

For an early stage diagnosis where there is no requirement for blood work and scans, if you are not on endocrine therapy, there is no reason to see the MO. You should be seeing a doctor every 6 months or annually to do a physical exam - that could be the MO, or the BS or the RO or your Gyne or your PCP.

“No power so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear.” Edmund Burke
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Sep 17, 2020 01:43PM LillyIsHere wrote:

I am told to see MO every 6 months. He is checking for signs of recurrence and, blood tests to see how my body is handling anti-hormonal therapy. He also added Zometa every 6 months to reduce the recurrence rate since I am node positive. I had BMX and I am told I don't need mammogram or any breast imaging since the breast tissue is removed. That's all I know for now.

Dx 7/31/2019, ILC, Left, <1cm, Stage IIA, 2/5 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery 9/19/2019 Lymph node removal: Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic ovary removal; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Hormonal Therapy 12/1/2019 Femara (letrozole)
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Sep 17, 2020 02:11PM edj3 wrote:

Yep, I'm good with seeing my RO who is doing all the breast care work (I am not seeing the breast surgeon any more, I experienced him as judgmental and not hearing me). But yes, since I am not taking tamoxifen, I just don't see the point of any more MO follow up visits. I have one next week, think I will put a bow on that package and call it done.

Tried the tamoxifen, no thanks. Dx 4/9/2019, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 5/5/2019 Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Dx 5/6/2019, LCIS, Left, <1cm, 0/1 nodes Radiation Therapy 6/2/2019 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 9/22/2019 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Sep 17, 2020 02:13PM bcincolorado wrote:

I did many years of hormonal meds but even though now off still see my MO every 6 months. With COVID we did some on the computer. She orders labs and mamo on my non cancer side. I will actually see her tomorrow as well that way again for follow up again.

It is not a bad idea to keep following up with a doctor once you have had cancer to make sure it has not come back to bite you when you least expect it.

Best wishes.

Dx 8/2009, IDC, Left, 5cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 1/6/2010 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left Hormonal Therapy 1/14/2010 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Hormonal Therapy 1/29/2016 Femara (letrozole)
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Sep 17, 2020 08:26PM MinusTwo wrote:

I think the point is to follow up and you can choose the doc that works bests for you.

I saw the BS a couple of times. Same with PS. Once the surgeries had healed, I was done with them. I saw the RO a couple of times after Rads since she's the one who picked up on the lymphadema and referred me to a LEPT. My MO retired and I'm not excited about the replacement. I'll still go see the MO once a year (8 years after my recurrence & resulting treatment) , but I'm not relying on him to monitor my health or progress - or lack thereof.

I see my PCP once a year and she orders all the comprehensive blood work every 6 months (including the cancer antigen) that all of the docs want to see. And I get my Prolia shots every 6 months from my OB/Gyn. I trust her more than all the others.

2/15/11 BMX-DCIS 2SNB clear-TEs; 9/15/11-410gummies; 3/20/13 recurrance-5.5cm,mets to lymphs, Stage IIIB IDC ER/PRneg,HER2+; TCH/Perjeta/Neulasta x6; ALND 9/24/13 1/18 nodes 4.5cm; AC chemo 10/30/13 x3; herceptin again; Rads Feb2014
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Sep 17, 2020 08:53PM - edited Sep 17, 2020 08:54PM by AliceBastable

I had surgery in July 2018. I saw my MO every 3 or 4 months until Covid made me cancel an April appointment this year. I haven't seen the RO since I finished radiation; he doesn't do follow-up unless the patient has a problem related to radiation. I had my mammogram in June and saw the BS, and I'll do that again next year. My primary does fairly thorough blood tests every 3 months. I had an online visit with her in June and I'll see her in person in December. I have a blood draw tomorrow morning, but I'm not sure if it's the full panel or just a few basics this time. I assume if anything looks iffy, she'll send me back to the oncologist. I also quit Tamoxifen in January, so I don't have a current reason to go back to the MO.


Endometrial cancer 2010, basal cell multiples, breast cancer 2018, kidney cancer 2018. Cancer's a bitch, but I'm a bigger one with more practice. Dx 5/2018, ILC/IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/10/2018 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery 8/7/2018 Radiation Therapy 10/29/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes

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