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Follow up scans after breast cancer
S56
6 Posts
Hello everyone, I’m curious to know how many of you are getting a MRI of your breast following 8 month post treatment. Or are u just getting a mammogram and ultrasound?

Thank you.
14 Replies

@S56 I had a MRI after my lumpectomy but before my mastectomy and have not had one since. I was discharged from BC Cancer in October 2020. I've only had mammogram's/ultrasound on my right breast only as my left is an implant and it is now yearly. Every 6 months I do go for an in-person check with my family Doctor who looks for recurrence. My Oncologist believed in only doing mammogram's/ultrasound's as the “extra” tests bring on other health problems as anxiety, high bp, stress. I was told to "live my life" by both my Plastic Surgeon and my Oncologist.

t3t
32 Posts
I just recently had an MRI but only because I asked for it, I had surgery Nov. 25th and have been pressured by 3 medical professionals since then to have another surgery as a second tumor was found on surgery day, the MRI showed nothing so I will not be having a 2nd surgery. I wanted to have the MRI as it shows any imperfections much clearer than a ultra sound.
Essjay
1956 Posts

@S56 I have annual mammograms and annual breast MRIs due to extremely dense breasts. My family doc books them but I have to remind her. I have my six monthly physical exam at the same time…

supersu
1108 Posts

@S56

I will chime in re: MRI.

the way I understand it, MRI is not useful as a regular breast cancer screening tool.
but where this technology shines is for dense breast patients who may have a cancer that is hidden on conventional mammogram.

I am in that boat apparently. if I had been told previously on my annual scans, (I've had at least 20), that dense breast imaging was challenging, I don't recall. it is only in the last few years that this has been on my radar.
anyhoo…..
after my breast cancer diagnosis in 2020, I was discharged from cancer centre by the end of that year, and follow up is in my and my family doctors hands.

I get an annual mammogram and MRI, staggered so that I basically get checked every 6 months. I am happy with that, and I guess at some time I will have to consider the contrast load if I live to be a very old lady…ha ha….right now I am comfortable with this plan.

how about you? what is your imaging schedule?

cheers
su

#breastcancer #followup #MRI #myfamilyDocisaSUPERSTAR

cinderella1
57 Posts

@S56 I just had a mammogram with NED, no evidence of disease ♥️

AllisonJB
17 Posts

I too have been recommended to have alternating MRIs and Mammograms perhaps with an Ultrasound every year for each . I have Type “D” Density Breasts, the highest apparently. My two cancers found last December were missed on Mammogram for a number of years as I had annual ones due to my Mother having had Breast Cancer at 48. Mammograms still can be useful picking up calcium deposits and is the best screening tool for women with none dense breasts. Dense Breast also put you at higher risk for Breast Cancer.

I have dense breasts in the C category. My surgeon is doing my follow up for 5 years after surgery. Every 6 months, he does a physical exam. I had an MRI, although my surgeon said that MRI can show up every little thing and cause worry and more biopsies when there doesn’t need to be worry. It showed up an intramammary lymph node, but nothing to worry about. I don’t know how often he will order an MRI. Mammogram will be once a year. I live in BC.
S56
6 Posts

Hello, thanks for responding. Love the island so beautiful. Have you gotten an MRI after your surgery?

JustJan
1543 Posts

Like others here, I too had dense breasts with a Birad of C. My followup schedule kind of got messed up because I was also diagnosed with ovarian cancer just 4 months after I was diagnosed with breast cancer and was going through treatment for that. At about 1.5 years after my original diagnosis I had my 2nd followup appointment. The surgeon wanted to send me for an MRI as it was part of the followup protocol. I asked her if it was really necessary as I was scanned out. I had so many CT scans and in fact was going for one the day after that appointment, I just didn’t have the energy for an MRI. She did say it was protocol, but because we had already planned on doing a bilateral mastectomy when I was finished my treatment for ovarian cancer, she agreed that we could let it slide and would continue with mammograms for surveillance until I had my surgery.

Skye2
223 Posts

@JustJan

…what’s the plan for follow up, if you’ve had a double mastectomy and implants? Anyone know?! (I still have my tissue expanders in and can’t get them switched out until August at the earliest, but no one has spoken to me about any kind of follow up, so I don’t know if I’m on my own or what?!

Sue

ps still haven’t started on Letrozole because I can’t get my bone density test due to backlog.

JustJan
1543 Posts

@Skye2 I see the surgeon again on the 26th. I am going to ask what the plan is. I’m getting regular CT scans because of the ovarian cancer so not sure if that will suffice. I will let you know what I find out.

chrys21
153 Posts

Hi @S56

I am getting my first follow up MRI this June - I also have D density and advocated for myself to get this supplemental screening. I have the same schedule as @supersu where I get my mammo and then 6 mos later the MRI.
Best,

JustJan
1543 Posts

@Skye2 I saw the nurse practitioner yesterday and asked about surveillance going forward. She said typically they don’t do anything once you’ve had the mastectomy (for early stage). She took a look at my last bone scan and last CT scan results to see if there was anything that warranted continued followup. Fortunately, there wasn’t. I am getting CT scans about every 6 months for ovarian cancer surveillance which also cover the chest so for me if anything comes up it can be dealt with. I did get the sense from her that if patients want scans they will arrange them but it was’t done routinely.

I think a discussion with your oncologist is the best way to get the followup plan for your specific circumstances. Not sure if this helps you or not.

Skye2
223 Posts

Hi @JustJan

i was thinking about you today! Thanks for the info! I hope you’re doing well with your recovery.

I must say, it makes me a bit nervous thinking I’m not going to be “checked”, but I guess it’s a case of no news is good news!

Sue

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