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MOONGLOWSNANA's Photo MOONGLOWSNANA SparkPoints: (226,708)
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7/11/13 4:00 P

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I saw my oncologist yesterday. I will see him again in January after my reconstruction is complete. I hope I'm done by then! I wrote myself a note on the appt paper to ask about ultrasound, CT scan or MRI instead of a mammogram. Both of my little lumps were found on mammograms. The first one could be felt once I knew where to feel after being shown by my breast specialist. The second one was too deep to feel, but it couldn't hide from the mammo!I still have some breast tissue so it will need to checked somehow!


Edited by: MOONGLOWSNANA at: 7/11/2013 (20:35)
192LBMARILYN's Photo 192LBMARILYN SparkPoints: (0)
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7/11/13 10:46 A

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Thank you just does not seem to cover how I feel... You guys are so great!
I appreciate all of your responses and am really looking forward to hearing more about each of you.
Thank you so much for being willing to ask for others input about this also.
I hope and pray everyone on this entire site feels the support and encouragement I am feeling right now.
We are all in this battle together and there is strength in numbers!!!!!
Marilyn emoticon

I am the beginning of the end of breast cancer in my family!

Humor is the great thing, the saving thing. The minute it crops up, all our irritations and resentments slip away and a sunny spirit takes their place.

Mark Twain


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BECKYANNE1's Photo BECKYANNE1 SparkPoints: (266,507)
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7/11/13 8:31 A

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I too was told I did not need mammograms. I had a double mastectomy and reconstruction. I would think you wold run the risk of damaging your implants anyway. I am so amazed at how different everyone's treatment is. I had my surgery last year and although I had my reconstruction started in Oct. along with another major surgery, I really haven't had anything done about my BC. My surgeon says I'm all up to date on everything so I'm not sure how they checked everything out. My nurse assumes because of all of the surgical procedures I've had, that they checked everything then.

Becky


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MAURIZIA's Photo MAURIZIA Posts: 13,937
7/11/13 7:43 A

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As promised, I spoke with several women last evening who have had bilateral mastectomies. None of them have mammograms citing the same reasons that Fluffy has posted. All of their oncologists do send them for annual MRIs or ultrasounds.

Mauri, EASTERN TIME ZONE, NEW ENGLAND

"Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible." - St. Francis of Assisi

“Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset.” —Saint Francis de Sales


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FLUFFYWONKENOBE Posts: 2,030
7/10/13 6:14 P

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As a technologist who has been doing mammograms for about 15 years, this is just my opinion, definitely discuss it with your physician.

That being said, here is my opinion:

Since you've had bilateral mastectomy with implant reconstruction, a mammogram would be almost impossible, and what tissue that could be imaged would only be what is in front of the implant (the skin, basically). We can't even image the tissue close to the chest wall, which is where a recurrence would happen if it was going to. In reading what you posted, I take it to be referring to patients who had a unilateral mastectomy & still have one breast remaining.

I have done mammograms on patients who have had bilateral mastectomy with implant reconstruction, and it is not an enjoyable experience for either patient or technologist! In fact, I have one or two bilateral mastectomy with implant reconstruction patients that come yearly for mammograms because they insist on it (this is not the standard of care that our oncologists follow for the vast majority of their bil mastectomy patients). Pretty much the mammogram shows whether or not the implant is intact, and the radiologist's report always states that it is a limited study due to the implants, and that there is no visible breast tissue to evaluate.

I know this isn't helpful at this point for you, but if I had to go through breast cancer treatment, I would opt not to have reconstruction. In my experience, the implants seem to be more trouble than they are worth for most ladies that I know, with one of those problems being imaging around them. I'd probably get prostheses that I could wear if I wanted to, or just leave in a drawer if I didn't feel like messing with them.

Of course, not being able to image, it is even more important that you be diligent with doing BSE regularly and that your physician do thorough clinical exams also.

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JOYSGARDEN's Photo JOYSGARDEN SparkPoints: (34,758)
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7/10/13 6:11 P

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I had DCIS too, and still go every year for a mammogram. Like Sheila said, better to be safe than sorry. And get rid of those ovaries!!


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MAURIZIA's Photo MAURIZIA Posts: 13,937
7/10/13 6:10 P

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Marilyn, it seems the jury is still out on this. There are some institutions and organizations that say mammograms are unnecessary if ALL the breast tissue is removed. Others recommend CT scan or MRI instead. I will be with survivors and oncologists tomorrow and will survey them to see how they would answer this.

Nowadays I know that they do tissue sparing surgeries, so you may still have breast tissue. In that case, it is a resounding yes to having mammograms.

I'll let you know what I find out.

Mauri, EASTERN TIME ZONE, NEW ENGLAND

"Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible." - St. Francis of Assisi

“Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset.” —Saint Francis de Sales


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NILLAPEPSI's Photo NILLAPEPSI SparkPoints: (127,927)
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7/10/13 10:09 A

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I would still have the mammograms, just to be safe. Even though you've had a double mastectomy you can still get cancer in the chest wall. Better to be safe than sorry. If you have doubts, I'd contact an oncologist & do a consult.

Keep smiling!!
Nillapepsi (Sheila) :-)

There is no passion to be found playing small - in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living. ~Nelson Mandela~


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192LBMARILYN's Photo 192LBMARILYN SparkPoints: (0)
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7/10/13 9:38 A

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Okay to start with I have just returned to Spark this week and I can see already that it was the right decision.
I had DCIS, in Dec 2009 I had a bilateral mastectomy and was told it is estrogen receptive.
I did not have an oncologist involved because of the surgery I chose. I had no radiation, chemo, tamoxifin, etc...
I have silicone implants and do not regret my decisions at all.
I had a many appointments in the first year after my surgery, mostly due to my reconstruction process, and then I had my annual check-up.
I had a hysterectomy Dec 2010, but I neglected to get my ovaries out. A dumb move since Who Knew the following July (2 years ago today) my mother would pass away after many years being "breast cancer free" it went to her ovaries and she did not survive. But I will get that taken care of. (sorry I'm still very angry, it was very quick and unexpected)

Okay enough background, now on to my question:

I have been reading and I found a site that described my cancer journey completely and it said I should be having follow-ups every 6 months and annual mammograms????
If I was told this I do not remember, (and since I am in menopause that is entirely possible, I am having memory issues)
Am I having manual breast exams with my general Dr and I do also check myself, but nothing more.
I know I need to ask my Dr. and I am going to, but since I do not have an appointment yet I thought I would ask here and see what anyone else who had DCIS like mine has to say.

Here is the info I read . It is on http://www.dcis.info/treatment-followup.

Follow-Up

Patients with DCIS who have been successfully treated in one breast are at risk for developing both a recurrence in the treated breast and cancer in the other breast. These patients require lifelong follow-up, including mammograms at least once a year and regular breast exams performed by health professionals trained in breast examination.



It is important for women to continue with regularly scheduled breast examinations after their treatment. This includes both clinical examination by their health care provider and a self-exam by the woman herself.

Women who have had a total mastectomy or a lumpectomy, with or without radiation treatment, need a clinical examination every six months for five years. After initial treatment, a mammogram should be requested in six months. Annual mammograms and yearly physical exams are recommended for all DCIS patients for life.

Regular follow-up care is very important. A patient who has DCIS in one breast has an increased risk of developing invasive breast cancer in the other breast. Early detection of any cancer recurrence is critical.






I am the beginning of the end of breast cancer in my family!

Humor is the great thing, the saving thing. The minute it crops up, all our irritations and resentments slip away and a sunny spirit takes their place.

Mark Twain


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