How to detect new primary/recurrence in reconstruction(s)

I’m interested in people’s views about this.


I had a left mastectomy 4+ years ago and haven’t had a reconstruction yet.  I will probably have to make a decision about a prophylactic right mastectomy sometime soon.  I’m not sure I can bear the thought of being completely flat-chested so would probably opt for a double reconstruction.


My question is - how does one detect a new primary/recurrence which could occur under a reconstruction?  Mammograms would no longer be done presumably and I can’t see anyone agreeing to do a CT or PET scan regularly (on the NHS).  It scares me because I know new primaries/recurrences can occur in/beneath/around reconstructions and I personally know of someone who now has secondaries and her recurrence (which metastacised) occurred under the reconstruction.   


Any thoughts welcome.



Good question skinnyminx, but how does a recurrence or new primary occur when there is no breast tissue left??
You are right, mammograms are not performed on reconstructed breasts ( well not mine anyway) so I guess you just have to be extra vigilant and check for any changes to the scar area etc, but I really don’t know how they can check UNDERNEATH the reconstruction . Any others thoughts ??

Hi skinny minx

I know you have read my post but I didn’t say how I found it. Unlike yourself I had my reconstruction at the same time as my mastectomy, tram flam using tummy fat etc. but still hope this helps. I found my new lump because I had an itch in my left breast. Due to lack of sensation it’s nots always easy to find where an itch is so tend to scratch a wider area and BAM found it and then ignored it for 2 months until it itched again. The nurse told me us women know our bodies better than we think so if you do find something just get it checked.

Good luck


Thank you for the replies ladies.


@Naz: Although technically no breast tissue left, recurrences do seem to occur in ladies who have had mastectomies, node clearance and reconstructions. In some instances there must enough tissue/skin left in which cancer cells proliferate.  The person I know who this happened to had a recurrence underneath the top edge of the implant :smileysad:


@MissGreen - interesting to know your symptoms, thanks.