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Topic: Any tests needed to detect any growths after Mastectomy??

Forum: Living Without Reconstruction After a Mastectomy — Discuss prostheses, swimsuits, bras, and other options for women not having reconstruction or waiting for reconstruction.

Posted on: Apr 4, 2019 05:44PM

NicoleRod wrote:

My doctor here in cali said I wouldn't need any follow up yearly tests to detect breast cancer. Now I don't want to sound stupid so hear me out...I realize I would never need a mammogram bc I have no breasts..however I do remember hearing someone say they get yearly MRI's?? Is this only for people with implants?? Shouldn't we at least need MRI's of our chest for a couple years following the double mastectomy??

Dec 2014 Right Breast INSITU ER + PR+ HER2- Lumpectomy /Radiation Feb 2019 IDC ER+ PR+ HER2- 4mm Tumor Grade 3 Stage 1 March 2019 Double Mastectomy. March 2019 Mets to Liver. 1.0cm and 2.0 cm.
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Apr 5, 2019 12:13AM Meow13 wrote:

I don't think they recommended MRIs for double mastectomy patients as routine scanning but my doctor is still doing year blood tests. If you have any symptoms I am sure your oncologist will be happy to order specific MRIs. I have yearly MRI and mammogram because I had left side only mastectomy.

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Apr 5, 2019 05:37AM - edited Apr 5, 2019 05:39AM by CBK


I had a BMX and I just follow up with breast surgeon and oncologist. No MRI or imaging is done on a follow-up or routine basis and I had implant reconstruction.

I do have routine bloodwork at the minimum of every three months; cancer antigen blood test for both breast and ovaries and regular CBC and Comprehensive Metabolic panels. Not that those are going to be reliable for reoccurrence detection.

Dx 3/26/2017, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/10/2017 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 7/21/2017 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 1/25/2018 Prophylactic ovary removal Hormonal Therapy 2/17/2018 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 4/9/2018 Reconstruction (right): Latissimus dorsi flap, Silicone implant Surgery 9/27/2018 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Surgery 4/3/2019 Reconstruction (left): Nipple reconstruction, Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction, Silicone implant
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Apr 5, 2019 09:58AM 2002chickadee wrote:

Physical exams, particularly around scar lines, seems like something to be done with regularity.

Dx 1/11/2018, IDC, Right, Stage IA, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 2/6/2018 Mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap Chemotherapy 3/23/2018 CMF Dx 9/2018, IDC, Right, <1cm, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/4/2018 Lumpectomy: Right Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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Apr 5, 2019 10:18AM Lexica wrote:

It makes me uncomfortable, but I concur with the previous posters... Just physical exams and CBC. My MO does not do cancer antigens/tumor markers. Although, my BC center is fairly free with ultrasound - if there is anything close to out of the ordinary (lump, bump, pain, etc), they will order one.

Diagnosed at 34. Dx 7/2017, IDC, Left, 6cm+, Stage IIIC, Grade 3, 5/11 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 12/14/2017 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right Radiation Therapy 1/15/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy Aromasin (exemestane) Chemotherapy AC + T (Taxol)
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Apr 5, 2019 11:00AM wallycat wrote:

Same here. Breast MRIs are impossible with bmx, similar to mammograms. My onco probably would not even order a CBC or any of the other "wellness" screenings unless I had a specific concern. Physical exam is what she recommends. I love my onco otherwise, I would probably start skipping these visits too.

Dx 4/07 1 month before turning 50; ILC 1.8cm, ER+/PR+, HER2 neg., Stage 1, Grade 2, 0/5 nodes. Onco score 20, Bilateral Mast., tamoxifen 3-1/2 years, arimidex-completed 4/20/2012
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Apr 5, 2019 02:23PM alto wrote:

Thanks for asking this. I had a single, so I still get a mammo and MRI. I assumed the mammo was useless for the mastectomy side, but I thought the MRI would pick up something. It seemed like on my last MRI they checked out the axilla, so I figured maybe it would get the chest wall area. Sounds like maybe not! I have a soft, slightly puffy area under my scar near the breastbone, that's kind of like a tissue lump, or scar tissue. My doctor didn't seem concerned by it and thinks it's just regular tissue. Since I've never really felt a 'lump,' I don't know what to be on the lookout for, other than a 'hard lump that doesn't move.' There's a lot less certainty with this stuff than one would hope for... :P

Diagnosed at 42. Had symptoms of Paget's for years prior to positive biopsy. No Tamox because low% ER. Dx 11/2/2018, Paget's, Right, Stage 0, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2+ (IHC) Surgery 11/11/2018 Lumpectomy: Right Dx 11/29/2018, DCIS/Paget's, Right, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, ER-/PR- Surgery 12/19/2018 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Dx 12/21/2018, DCIS, Right, 2cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER-/PR- Surgery 1/16/2019 Mastectomy: Right
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May 15, 2019 02:55PM kaitlin21 wrote:

Hi all! 

I just had a left total mastectomy for a borderline (not cancerous, but not benign) phyllodes tumor. My surgeon didn't mention any follow-up or monitoring care after my treatment, which is really surprising. Is that true about MRI's not detecting a problem on the side with no breast tissue? 

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May 15, 2019 03:24PM kber wrote:

I'm considering a BMX.  I think my MO mentioned something about regular (annual?) PET scans, but I'll have to ask again.  

Dx 11/2018, IDC, Left, 5cm, Stage IIB, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 12/7/2018 Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxol (paclitaxel)
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May 15, 2019 03:53PM Spookiesmom wrote:

I had bmx 7 years ago. No scans of any type. Just follow up with MO. Blood tests about every 6 months. Unless you have symptoms, nothing. Unfortunately I developed symptoms in January. So stay observant, but don’t let fear take over your life.

Reoccurrence 3-19. Dx IDC, Stage IIIA, Grade 3
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May 15, 2019 04:59PM kbram wrote:

You must have some kind of follow-up! I had a recurrence six years after BM. My BS followed me every six months until I reached the five year mark and then once a year. Luckily I found the new lump and made an appointment with her. I always got a physical exam and some times an ultrasound. It can happen!


Dx 10/18/2014, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/0 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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May 15, 2019 09:41PM Miranda-P wrote:


I seen a breast radiation oncologist when I was first diagnosed in Sept/Oct and just recently in March following my double mastectomy. She stated & feels because my pathology came back clear after my double mastectomy no radiation was needed. She did say that for the next 5 years I need chest CT’s. No mention of MRI’s.

I am doing excellent. Don’t lose hope or be dismayed. Life does go on and gets better. This is just temporary.

I am getting ready for the last stage of my reconstructive surgery and get my FOOBS next month. I’m not looking forward to another surgery but, I’m hopeful and know how incredibly blessed I am. Just trying to take one day at a time and allowing myself to “just be.” Stay positive and know that you’re not alone in this journey.

Don’t lose your joy! Smile and know you’re supported and loved.

All my best,

Pam 😊

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