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post treatment scans -- type and when?

after 4 years out from ER+ breast cancer with tumor at bottom of breast on chest wall -- chemo, surgery, radiation followed by AI -- I was just diagnosed with MBC in liver and bone without any symptoms, just a fluke case of indigestion brought what followed. So, I am wondering your thoughts on how often cancer markers should be done and whether an annual breast MRI should be accompanied with a more systemic scan every 3 years or so?


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You need CLOSE follow-up seeing as you have Metastistic breast cancer that has progressed.

Your Oncologist needs to tell you what his treatment plan is for you. He/She can tell you how often your tumor markers and scans should take place. Ask these questions and don’t be in the dark about what’s going to be done for you. Three years for a full body scan is WAY too long! Who gave you this info?

Some women have full body CT or PET scans every 6 months or even every 3 months. You need to be monitored closely. You should be seeing your Oncologist on a regular basis.

How are your liver mets being treated? That issue needs to be addressed. There are many options out there.

I was told that because my BC had metastasized, I no longer need mammograms. I have full body CT or MRI’s, sometimes bone scans and even x-rays of my bones. ( I have bone mets.)

I have tumor markers done each month 2 days before I see my Oncologist. Yes, I see my Oncologist once a month and am beginning my 3rd year following this regimine. I have bloodwork done that shows my red, white, hemoglobin, hematocrit, and platelet numbers each month also. Your bloodwork will show if you develop anemia which needs to be treated, or if anything is “off.”

Because of the bone mets, I get an infusion of Zometa, a bone strenghener, every 3 months. The first 2 years I got an infusion once a month. Some women get Xgeva shots for their bones. It helps.

I’m sure you’re on some type of chemo regimine. You need to be. I take oral chemo pills and go from one type to another as time goes by and whether a medicine stops working.

I’ve had 2 independent 2nd opinions from other Oncologists. My doctor thoroughly recommends it as it helps him in his care of me. My insurance company encourages it too. I highly recommend that you do this. Don’t rely on only one doctor’s input.

rightrib, make sure you’re getting the care that your situation requires. Please let us know what your Oncologist is doing for you. If it’s not enough, you need to find a doctor who’ll monitor and treat you adequately.

Many good wishes and prayers going your way!



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