age 39 - mammos after 5yrs ned?

Hi, have just had my results of my 4 year mammo and all is well. i saw my consultant yesterday who said that when i see him in a years time, if i am still ned, i will then switch to mammos every 18 months.

Does anyone know what the guidelines are once you get to 5 years but are still a long way from the system at 47? Shouldnt i still get them every year? Does 18 months sound correct? thanks!

I was 32 at diagnosis and ive had a 1 and 2yr mammo but there are no plans for any more!! They seemed to discharge me last april so i will try to refer myself in this year as i was surprised to be just kicked out given my age at disgnosis with grade 3 BC!

Perhaps every hospital is different. Your plan sounds similar to a friend of mine but she was in her late forties.

good luck

Having read some past threads on this kind of thing, there doesn’t seem to be a general pattern, each hospital is different.

I am a lot older than you (now 49) but still not old enough to be mammo-ed of ‘right’ in the system where I live (it’s still 50 here). I was told that I would have 2 yearly mammos for ten years (my hosp does annual for WLE and two-yearly for mx) so long as I stayed NED, at which point I would drop back to the ‘normal’ frequency. Ironically I may well get the call for my first ever 50+ mammo just as I’m due my first two year post surgery one…


this might be a stupid question ( i know 'there are no stupid questions on her :slight_smile: ) but when you say your hospitals do mammo annually for wle and 2 yearly for mx - so does that mean they do a mammo on the side where someone has had a mx whether they have had recon or not??



Where I live they do not mammo the Mx/Recon breast, only the unaffected side.


hi, mfb,

thats what i thought happened everywhere. but i have read revcats posts as thought they mammo mx side as well? or have i misread it?

Thanks TTM


Will leave RevCat to confirm but I think she means that if you have WLE then you have an annual mammo check up and I would guess on both sides, whereas if you have Mx then you only have the mammo done every other year and on the unaffected side. I think it is more about frequency of mammos based on type of treatment/surgery.

I have been told that I will have annual mammo checks for 5 years - but only on the unaffected side. I had Mx & immediate reconstruction.


I was diagnosed Dec 2005 - had yearly mammos to 2010 - then switched to every 2 years on discharge from Breast Clinic - because i had mast and then tram flap I get both sides tested and due another May this year which I now arrange via my GP. Debs

Evie you def need to chase up your team as you should be getting annual mammos till your fifty.

Here is the NICE guidance… This is for England and Wales

You should be offered a mammogram every year until you reach the age when you will automatically be included in the NHS Breast Screening Programme or the Breast Test Wales Screening Programme. If you are already in one of these screening programmes when you finish treatment for early or locally advanced breast cancer, you should be offered a mammogram every year for the first 5 years.

The Scottish guidelines are pretty old and are under review but this is the SIGN guidelines

mammography is the gold standard method of imaging for cancer detection but no evidence was identified to suggest the optimal frequency of this procedure with this group of women. Current practice offers this one to twice yearly within the first five years.

However my unit follows all women up with annual Mammo for 10 years or till age 50 if longer.

i have been told as lulu has just said every year until i am 50. (i am 39)

lulu - whats that last bit you mention, one to twice yearly within first five years. so do some carry them out twice a year for first 5 years, then yearly until 50 or next 5 years?


Hi Lulu34,

Also calling on your expertise in this area if that is okay. I understand based on what I was told by my BCN that the reconstructed breast, no matter what the method, undergoes Mx - is that correct as a ‘standard’ or a local protocol?


TTM think it’s the wording it’s one to two yearly not once to twice… Don’t know anybody getting six monthly mammos but quite a few Scottish girls get them every two years and not annually.

Mfb I’m afraid I don’t understand your question… Most reconstructed breast have had mastectomy first but occassionally it’s following a lumpectomy… Sorry read it again and still not sure what our mean about no matter what method.


Hi TTM, sorry I have not been back to answer your question.

My understanding is they mammo the remaining real breast, not the recon. BUT on another thread someone said their recon was mammo-ed - sounds uber youch to me. I think the logic of the one year for WLE people is that you still have two real breasts, one of which had cancer in it, so they want to keep an eye on it, but if they’ve taken the breast away, well nothing to mammo. Not sure how they check my chest wall, but I’ll not dwell on that, and I get the logic.

Mfb, do you mean recon has mammo?

Hi RevCat,

Sorry if not clear. I had Mx & immediate reconstruction. For my annual check they only mammogram’d the unaffected breast.

Like you I did see another lady say that she had a mammo on her reconstructed breast as standard.


thanks lulu as always.

revcat thanks for that.


Hi Lulu34,

Sorry, my mfb (mush for brains) is clearly on a roll…

My question was around whether the different types (methods) of reconstruction influenced if you had future mammos on that breast. I had Free Flap Diep/Tram as my reconstruction.

I was told that there would be no future mammo as the cancer could not come back in that ‘breast’, although I know now that it can recur locally although not in the tummy tissue. Another Lady posted to say that she did have mammos on her reconstrcuted breast.

So I guess what I was wondering is whether certain types of recon mean that you would have a mammo on that side as well as the unaffected breast.

Does that make sense?


Hi mfb (love the name btw)

The type of recon makes no difference with all mastectomies no matter what recon or no recon the risk of recurrence is the same… Which is very low as very little breast tissue remains after surgery.

Most units will not carry out mammograms on an mastectomy… Some people who are being treated privately may have mammos but they are not recommended.

Usually the chest muscle is pushed to the front of any recon you would have so any recurrence would usually occur nearer the surface of the breast and generally are usually fairly obvious and this is why they dont to mammos… The areas of breast tissue are so small they may not show up very well on Mammo anyway.


I think every hospital is different and also it depends on individual needs.

I was diagnosed at 35, Grade 3, 2 inch tumour, no node involvement, ER and PR Positive. I had a WLE which has reduced my boob from a DD to a D. I had chemo, rads and now on tamoxifen.

I’ve been told I’ll have a yearly mammogram for the rest of my life now.

Thank you for the info Lulu34,