What routine follow ups would help for TNBC?

Hello members,

A few days back i posted that my mothers' treatment is over and the follow up checkups need to be started. Now the fear of her being TNBC has started looming large for us. We have not yet told my mother about the risks related to being TNBC but i am really getting worried about the higher chances of recurrence :(

Are there some specific check ups or procedures to be followed which would help us? Any suggestions are welcome. Our doctor has told to come for first check up after one month from the day her radiation got over.

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12 Replies

  • Id53, we can understand your situation but let me tell you frankly nothing is in our hand....i would suggest you, just followup your onco recommendation...do whatever he suggest and don't ignore even a small problem..if it looks suspicious...immediately discuss the same with oncologist....bcu till date no one knows much about TNBC, it has so many hidden surprises for us..even my wife is also TNBC and it has relapse only after 3 month...i dont want to scared you but this is the real truth about TNBC...even BRCA1 positive survivors survive more than 10 years so moral of the story dont think anything wrong...important thing is that enjoy everyday of life with positive thinking...

  • Thanks Manish for the kind words. You rightly said that we should follow our doctor's advice and remain cautious. But as you said every small symptom will make us suspicious now, so it is going to be difficult. We have decided to not tell mom as it might help her to heal mentally faster.

    Really sad to hear about your wife's relapse :( I am sure she is a strong lady and is going to fight this and come out victorious for herself and such loving family. God give us strength.

    May i ask was there any symptom she followed up or was it detected during regular check ups?

  • Id53, after first follwup...she was facing severe shoulder and neck pain..then dr. Suggest for pet/ct and he found its relapse...

  • Oh okay. Actually from today morning, mom is complaining of pain in back side of neck and stiffness in the arm where surgery has been done :( do you think we need to get the scans done? or wait for a day or two if it's due to some muscle pull as she said she did lift some heavy bag by mistake.

  • Hi id53 - we are mentally so much stressed - even a small pain - we think the cancer has relapsed. My sister was detected 2 years back still a small pain anywhere in the body makes us tense.

    Ask your oncologist - show him the problem and then go for scans

  • You are right Kontak. The pain in mom's back side of neck went away day before yday after we applied volini and some massage, think it was a muscle pull. Now it's only stiffness of arm which is expected. Thank you.

  • Stiffness in the operated side arm is common. I do not know about pain in back side of neck. If it does not subside better to get it checked by your oncologist. take care. Do not worry about TNBC and recurrence. Every cancer patient is different. Take care

  • Thanks greenbear for consoling words. She had shown to the doctor on Monday and he said things were fine. Also the neck pain went away the same day after some pain reliever and massage. Will keep a check on that.

  • There are no specific checks as such. We follow up all patients in the following manner:

    Every 3 months for the first two years

    Every 6 months for the next three years

    Every year thereafter

    We do mammography once a year. Apart from that, there are no specific investigations. We enquire about possible symptoms of any metastases and if any doubt, do investigations accordingly. In any case, for many of my patients, I do a routine ultrasound of the abdomen and pelvis and a chest x ray (especially those at a higher risk of recurrence and for my TNBC patients) even without any symptoms. I must state here that, ALL guidelines suggest that this is NOT needed, it does not help and need not be done. Guidelines suggest investigations to be done, only if patient is symptomatic. It is only my personal preference; and after informing the patient that this is not actually needed, but I am still doing it.

    Dont worry too much about TNBC. Each and every breast cancer patient is different and must be weighed by her own merit.

  • Thank you so much Dr for the detailed suggestions. Our oncologist has also told about the same checkup routine of 3 months, 6 months and one year. He said only in case of any symptoms he would ask to get the other tests done.

    But as you mentioned about getting the ultrasound and X-ray done without any symptoms, even we would want to do that for mom. Is it okay to do these elsewhere outside as these are standard procedures? We can show to the onco in case something is not clear.

    I agree too much worry is not going to get us anything, but it's just taking time to make the mind understand that. Thank you for all the support.

  • Sorry doctor, but i am now all the more concerned about relapse :(

    How frequently do you think we should get the ultrasounds and X-rays done? I don't want to wait for 3 months and 6 months regime asked by the onco. We would do it of-course but want to do the extra checkups ourselves.

  • Friend.....too much of exposure of body towards Ultrasounds, scan is also not good for the body - this is what i understand. Rather i suggest, do yoga / exercise regularly. Eat lot of Turmeric in food / milk. Eat lot of fruits. Dont use junk foods or Acidic foods. Try to make your body alkaline, not acidic. Best of luck.

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