How to know if i have mets anywhere?

(First of all, i must say i’m new in the site and that i’m from spain so i would like you to understand me)

I’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer in July, and last week i had surgery to remove the tumour.My onc has told me that the treatment for me will be both chemoteraphy and radioteraphy…
My question is the following : how can i know if there are malignant cells growing in other parts of my body? what type of check up must i be done?

Thank you all and sorry for my bad english

Hi Paqui,

Welcome to the site. You will find lots of support here. Firstly let me congratulate you on your English - it’s a lot better than some English people’s! I can get by in France (asking directions, buying things in shops) but my French is nowhere near as good as your English, and I don’t speak a word of Spanish.

In answer to your question - assuming you are being treated in the UK - it depends where you live. Different hospitals have different policies. I have seen on this site that a lot of places routinely give scans to check for secondary cancers elsewhere in the body, but where I live they don’t. I would only get a scan if I had any symptoms which needed to be checked. So you need to talk to your onc for the answer. When you go for your next hospital appointment write down any questions you have beforehand, so you don’t forget, and then make sure you get answers to them all while you are with your onc. Take someone with you who speaks good English if you don’t feel confident enough about your own language skills.

Best wishes & good luck

Hi paqui,
Just saw your post. I was diagnosed in May 2007 & came to UK for treatment in June 2007. I had a Mastectomy with Axillary dissection in July 2007 & am undergoing chemotherapy at present. All my scans done prior to surgery were clear & showed no signs of metastasis elsewhere. I don’t know how to determine whether my treatment is effective or not. Just hope & pray that the treatment is effective.
Take care

The straightforward answer is that you cannot tell if there are cancer cells floating around, and the only way to find out if it has settled elsewhere are scans and tests. Often metastases do not show any physical effect until advanced.

The chemotherapy and radiotherapy are to ensure that any floating cancer is zapped before it has a chance to settle and develop.

Have you been given details about the tumour - size? type? whether hormone positive or hormone negative?

No, i haven’t been given all the details, so far i know that the size of the tumour is 0.8 inches (2 cm) and that there will possibly be more malignant cells in the surroundings (up to 1.8 inch).
The diagnostic of my breast cancer is invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC) :frowning:

That’s all what i know
Tomorrow i have an appointment with the onc, i hope to know the rest of the details by then.

Thank you all very much!!


Hola Paqui y mucha suerte para manana. Haz una lista de preguntas para su oncologo por que es dificil recordar todo. A mi entender es mejor llevar un amigo con tigo. Un abrazo XX

Hola Paqui! I live in Spain as well (although I am italian), where are you? I live near Barcelona!
hasta pronto

This is something that has worried me. I was given the choice as to whether to have chemo or not and chose not to. As there was no lymph node involvement, I have never been offered a scan. There is always that worry in my mind that it could have spread elsewhere and I wouldn’t know.


I’m glad about you Julie
Not having any limph nodes affected is great
i wish i had the same luck



Estoy en el R.U. pero hablo espanol y acabo de salir de esto por segunda vez. Cualquier cosa, mandame un mensaje, vale?

Te desea todo lo mejor,