You will continue to have follow up visits with your oncologist and he/she will ask you about the various symptoms that could signal some sort of metastasis You will also have periodic blood tests and bone density tests. The most common areas for breast cancer metastasis are bones, liver, and brain.
Invasive (Infiltrating) Ductal Carcinoma Questions
Checking for more cancer after chemo
Asked by Ydnar2xer on Tuesday, December 25, 2012
Checking for more cancer after chemo
I am nearing (4 weeks left) the end of chemo and haven't talked to my doc yet about how they will check me for recurrence/cancer elsewhere. I have no breasts left to mammogram! Any help on this?
6 Answers from the Community
Congratulations on nearing the end of chemo! Typically they will follow up with scans (CT, PET, MRI, and Bone are some that may be used) with the timing dependant on how fast your particular type of cancer grows. You should expect a scan fairly soon after chemo to see if there are any signs of changes. Then typically there will be scans at three to six month intervals to make sure that if it does come back it is caught early You will also probably have blood tests to look for cancer markers that will likely be at 6 to 12 week intervals. As you get further out from treatment and there is no sign of cancer the interval between scans and tests will get streched out. Good Luck and study hard for your post chemo tests!!!!!
Hi Ydnar2xer and Merry Christmas. Wow. You are almost at the finish line. Hope you're feeling OK.
I had radiation after chemo. After radiation, my oncologist ordered a pet, bone density and bone scan to rule out metastases. Also, at first I saw him once every three months and I had blood work drawn during each visit. There was always a liver panel as part of the blood work since I initially had a suspicious spot on my liver.
Despite the testing and Arimidex , I still felt like I wasn't doing enough to fight cancer once surgery, chemo and rads were finished. It is hard to transition to doctor visits and blood tests after you've fought the fight of your life! But those feelings have faded over time.
I'm straying from your question a bit. But just in case you have these feelings, know that you are not alone.
It's a good question! And you should ask... Scans may or may not be in your near future, depending upon all the details of your diagnosis.
I have had follow-up visits every three months... but no scans and no blood work. Just a check for symptoms and lumps and bumps. Like you, I have no breasts...
And you know, I'm happy to forgo the scans because those are not without risk. I do not want my entire body exposed to X-rays unless that actually NEEDS to happen. My health care team agrees with that approach...
The thing that definitely should happen is that you should know exactly what the plans are, what to do if you have something that might be a symptom of recurrence and so on... My general rule is two weeks - if you have something new that lasts two weeks, then it's time to call and get checked out. If you have something that scares you, it's also time to call. I had this weird rib pain late last spring... Turned out to be something totally normal, but it was dramatic, and the onco had me come in asap to be seen. Phew...
It is weird to go from being seen ALL THE TIME - like, at least once a week... to once every few months. And soon, I hope, I shall be down graded to being seen twice per year (fingers crossed). On the one hand, I miss all those incredibly kind people. On the other hand, I never want to need them again!
Does that help? Hugs! You're almost done, and that's a good thing!
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