Yes, that is the routine for me as well. My diagnosis was the same as yours, although my oncologist suggested six treatments after I finished the fourth. No regular scans, except an annual chest X-ray, but blood work prior to each appointment. We may change to six month appointments because I see my family doctor twice a year. Both are on the lookout for anything suspicious, and both are quick to order tests. Two severe headaches in January prompted an MRI--no brain tumor, just a cyst in my sinus cavity, thankfully. Of course I worry about recurrence and think about it (but don't dwell on it) every day. My breast surgeon, whom I see yearly as well, just gave me her advice a few weeks ago: "Live and love more. Worry less." I hope you will do just that as you move forward.
Triple-Negative Breast Cancer, Ductal Questions
Follow up question for TNBC
Asked by Machacha on Tuesday, June 4, 2013
Follow up question for TNBC
Finished treatment for stage I grade 3 TNBC in November (Bilateral mastectomy, 4 rounds TC). Oncologist says visits every 3 months for follow up nothing else, no blood work, no scans etc. Curious if this is similar for others with TNBC?
7 Answers from the Community
Same here. Mastectomy for ILBC stage IIa, chemo, rads, reconstruction. I only see onc and breast surgeon every three or four months for now. Surgery May 2012. Finished rads Oct 2012. I've has one follow up mammogram on good breast in Feb 2013. I think that's all for now.
YUP - exactly the same as my plan... although I've now graduated to once every four months. it's a double edge sword, right? I mean, hormone positive folks get followup meds that reduce risk of recurrence etc... but we get none... and we get none of the side effects...
BUT - congrats on finishing up treatment!!!!!
And - there are some things we can do to reduce our risk - including things like exercising nearly every day and so on....
GOOD LUCK - this part is hard mentally... at least for me it is!
I'm so happy for you, yeah...I am hoping to follow in your steps. I am also a TNBC, I was stage 1 grade 3. I did 4 rounds of CA-TA, I will complete my rads on Thurs. Unfortunately I had a regional recurrence in 1 lymph node (surgery already done) now my Onc is gonna suggest more chemo, which I will do. But so I'm happy to hear yours worked...keeping my fingers crossed. I know they were saying visit every 3 mons, the 1st year, then 6 months the following year. They will do a scan in 3 months. I was also curious that I haven't had a blood test since Feb 2012 (except for my surgery CBP, etc). congrats to you and be well:)
Mine is somewhat similar except they do bloodwork. Stage 2, grade 3, TNBC. Bilateral mastectomy and reconstruction. My treatment was a clinical trial that included 4 rounds of A/C followed by 12 rounds of Taxol. No radiation. No scans. My appts are every 3 months which will change to every 6 months after my next visit. My Oncologist reviews my bloodwork and asks about any symptoms each visit.
Thanks for all the responses. It just seems odd that they do absolutely nothing. Scary because if there is a reoccurrence it feels like it will be too late by the time there are symptoms? Also a little frustrating when I open that bill from the oncologist for approximately $100.00. Thinking if the only thing that happens at that visit is filling out a questioner is there really a point of going if I feel fine and have no issues to report?
You hit the nail on the head when you said, "if there is a reoccurrence it feels like it will be too late by the time there are symptoms". Regular screening is important, but there's lots you can do on a daily basis to increase the chances that those screenings will come back clean. Find a holistic primary care physician who can evaluate you for your particular risk factors and help you create a lifestyle that minimizes those risks. Then you'll be back in the driver's seat, knowing you've done all you can to prevent having to go through this again. Best of luck!
Shani Fox, ND