Hormone receptor negative -Why continue seeing an Oncologist?

I had an operation in early May 2007, followed by radiotherapy. Because my cancer was hormone receptor negative there is no other treatment. My appointments with the breast surgeon will be once a year, with an annual mammogram. I’ve just seen the Oncologist for my “check up” and he made the next appointment. I cannot see any point in seeing him (unless the cancer comes back) since he does not do anything.
Before I cancel the next appointment (later this year) has anyone an opinion?

I think basically, they like to ‘keep an eye on you’ so-to-speak. I feel that probably if they see you on a regular basis if there are any changes you can be seen sooner rather than later.

I didn’t have radiotherapy and I am hormone receptive but, I will only be going to see my oncol every 6 months and mammogram every two years. I’m quite happy to go along with that, though I was thinking I would be seen at 3 month intervals for the first year…got that wrong.

Not too sure if I’d cancel my appointment, but I’m sure you know what you are doing…I know what it’s like, you feel you want to put this behind you and get on with life.

Good Luck

I too am triple negative and see the oncologist every 3 months.They like to do more frequent checks on us because we are more at risk of recurrence than +++ people{not of mets].The sooner a recurrence is found the more treatable/curable it is.An oncologist can feel lymph nodes,do blood tests etc and find early warning signs.Please dont cancel your appointment.Love horace[the ostrich]

Hi Edna, i think you just need to do whats best for yourself, i feel reassured to a certain extent hoping i will get thorough check ups. all the best in whatever you decide to do

I am hormone receptor negative and HER 2+, for which I had herceptin. I was signed off from the oncologist as soon as herceptin finished and am now on annual check up by the surgeons. Suits me fine, I don’t like going to the hospital (Royal Marsden) too often!

Hi Elena,

Please keep the appointment, Two years ago I had a lumpectomy folllowed by chemo then radiotherapy. I was triple negative so sent home with an appointment for a year later. Then just a year later I felt a lump in my arm pit, the cancer had reaccured in my lymph gland, a mamogram would not have picked that up. I had surgery to clear all the lymph glands no further treatment given as triple negative.

Then last August a lump appeared on the scar line, I had another recurrence so this was followed by a mastectomy and chemo, this time though I have receptors for herceptin although still hormone negative. I don’t want to scare you but please do not take the outside chance of a recurrence too lightly cancer is a nasty little thing that needs to be kept an eye on.

take care


I’m triple neg and still see my onc every six months,Hopefully my next appointment will be my last as I’m 4+ years down the line now. They wouldn’t be keeping an eye on you if they didn’t think you needed it! I must admit I cancelled the last appointment as it coincided with something else and I was feeling well anyway, but I’d go along if I were you…Good luck with whatever choice you make anyway.

Josie x

Is it true that you are at a greater risk of recurrence if HR Neg?
I am worried.

That is what I have been told by my oncologist and it is backed up by all the internet research I have done.JaneRA is the one with most info so I will bring this to the top hoping someone can give more details.Please note it is recurrence not secondaries,there is a big difference.We cant help worrying though whatever sort of bc we have.Good luck ,horacex

Its great that triple negatives are beginning to get more publicity (the phrase wasn’t often used 4 plus years ago when I was first diagnosed.) But my are the myths prolierafing about it already.

Triple negatives are not more likely than other cancers to get recurrences (nor more likely to get a local or regional recurrence than distant metastic disease). Other factors like grade and lymph node involvement also play a part. If cancer is going to recur (and I use that term broadly to included local, regional, and mets) then statistically triple negative cancers do recur earlier than er+ and pr+ ones. Then after 5 years the rate of recurrence fro triple negatives slows down. There is now some research which suggests that if you are triple negative and get to 8/10 years that your chances of recurrence are neglible…which is great news…and is certainly not the case for er+ and pr+.

Triple negatives don’t have the benefits of hormone treatment or of targetted her2 treatments such as herceptin. But hormone tretaments don’t work for all er+ and pr+ cancers, and nor does herceptin work for all her2+ cancers.

I want to see more research on triple negative cancer, but I also want to make sure that the myths about ‘triple negative’ disease don’t get out of hand. There’s a good article on this link:


Breast cancer…particularly when its grade 3, particularly when nodes or vascular invasion involved is pretty damned serious whatever its hormonal status. And cancer can be so unpredictable.


Thanks Jane I’m sorry if I caused any worry I knew you would have the facts to hand.I suppose what I said had some foundation.It was my oncologist who originally said to me that whilst there was a slightly greater chance of recurrnce with triple neg in the early years post dx the chance of mets was no greater than for +++ people.

Thank you, Ladies, for your comments, and special thanks to JaneR and Horace. Yes, of course you are right in that I should continue to see the Oncologist. I will just have to get use to the thought that these check-ups are going to be a part of my life, however much I am trying to get away from it. I suppose that it is just as well that my under-arm will continue being sore and, therefore, will act as a reminder.


just bringing this to the top for doylej