MRI scan


Recently been diagnosed with grade 2 invasive ductal cancer with cancer cells also found from the fna from the lymph. I am being sent for an MRI scan it has been explained to me that this is to monitor how the tumor responds to chemo (I will have another one after my second round of chemo) but is the scan likely to be of the breast area only, or of my whole body to see if cancer has spread further??

I am seeing oncogist on Thursday so will ask again then as my paperwork doesn’t say anything about checking to see if the cancer has spread further but I was under the impression that that was what usually happens?

hi Hannah my experience was slightly different as I had Mx first then chemo afterwards - it seems that they are going to give you chemo first which seems to be more common these days (I was dx 5 years ago)  but yes either way they will do a staging scan this so they can baseline the size of tumours and subsequent scans they can see if they are growing/shrinking etc and are really useful.    As part of this scan they will also check other soft tissue and they will see if there is cancer in any other areas so they will know when you get the results how big your tumour is and also if it has spread.   The MRI scan is usally chest to thighs but ask your Onc to check this as they may do whole body scan at your trust.  I ‘only’ got a CT scan which isn’t as detailed so you seem to be getting very thorough treatment which is re assuring.  Good luck with it all x

Hi Saffron,
Thanks for your info, what you’ve said is what I was under the impression happened. Maybe they don’t include in the paperwork that they send out about seeing if its spread as not to worry people?

Thanks for your info ladies :slight_smile: my scan is also on Monday so I will be thinking of you there too xx

I’ve also got an MRI scan - I’m diagnosed with lobular invasive grade 2, 12mm lump. I’ve been in shock and can’t sleep. I don’t know how I’m going to cope with this constant waiting for test results, this constant anxiety. Is it true that lobular is worse or harder to see ? was told I’ll get a lumpectomy and radiotherapy but presumably the MRI scan could change this ? if it shows up elsewhere should I have a mastectomy? these thoughts are gnawing at me constantly.

Hi takea breath. Sorry you’ve had to join our club, but there’s loads of ladies with loads of experience who’ll try to answer your questions. I was diagnosed with grade 2 lobular invasive cancer in November 2013. Prior to being diagnosed, I was being given yearly mammograms due to family history. It’s true that lobular is more difficult to find on mammogram and that it can be in both breasts at the same time (but this is very rare), but it’s no worse than ductal cancer. It’s the fact that it so difficult to see on mammo that you’ll be being given the MRI. It’s not an invasive scan, although I did take a diazepam just before the scan due to claustrophobia, but it was nothing like as bad as I thought. I had WLE followed by chemo and rads but am now waiting for an elective MX due to not being able to move on after treatment. As to whether you should have a MX or not is a very personal choice, but please do take time to think things through thoroughly before making your decision. I know that when I was first diagnosed, all i wanted was for the cancer to be taken away and went with the WLE because it could be carried out quickly. I really wanted a MX and told my BCN this prior to surgery, but she still convinced me that the WLE was best for me. I regret not sticking to my guns, but at least I will get there in the not too distant future. I wish you all the best with whichever treatment plan you decide to follow. Ann x x

Hi Gill,

That’s the million dollar question that I just can’t get over. I’ve been told that all the stats point to WLE plus rads giving the same outcome as MX, yet when I discussed having the MX with my surgeon, he said it would cut my chance of recurrence to 2%. When I had my meeting with my oncologist, he said that my chance of recurrence was around 13%, once tamoxifen, WLE, chemo and rads were factored in. Don’t know who to believe, but to keep myself sane and allow myself to move on, I’ve elected to have a double mastectomy with immediate DIEP reconstruction. Know it’s not going to be easy, but it’s got to be better than constantly wondering what’s going on inside my body. The MX has no effect on my stats for secondaries, just local recurrence, but that will give me much more peace of mind than I have at the mo. Ann x x

Hi ladies.
I have lobular invasive in both breasts.
Left one was 3cm G3 Her2+ (felt bigger but that was surrounding tissue), right one 2cm G2 Her2-
Started adjuvant chemo 2 weeks ago… EC only first x 4 every 3 weeks
Then 12 x weekly Paclytaxel, with Herceptin every 3 weels for 12 mths.
Tamoxifen for 10 years

My consultant/surgeon (male) originslly said double mx plus recon was best route.
But my Oncogist (lady) seems to be pushing lumpectomy plus RT, particularly now as 2 weels after chemo boyh lumps have already shrunk by approx 1cm!!
They are ultrasounding them and inserting metal markers so I can still have the option of lumpectomy (onc thinks both will have shrunk to the point surgeon will struggle to find them by Oct!!)
Sounds like great news to me, amazed they are shrinking already so obvioudly (I can feel them, left one was really prominent at first, right one is mow quite hard to locate! They’d better get a move on with those markers!!!)

But I am also torn and confused over surgery options.
I kinda just want it all removed.
Consultant not a fan of RT when it’s double breast cancer ‘at my young age’ (49, bless him!)
Oncologist though says RT not a danger.
Both cons and onc say same chance of recurrence for MX as LX but surely removing ALL breast tissue reduces chance of recurrence in breasts?

It’s so confusing.
But I have til Oct to do my homework and decide.

Does anyone know the actual stats/facts begore I go googling?

(Excuse typos… big thumb on iphone!!)

PS: a lovely lady on here had double mx and recon in one go at Christmas… I contacted her and she was brilliantly helpful and gave me a lot of reassurance. Said it all seemed a long time ago. Was 2 mths pretty incapacitated but that I’d be able to work from home the 2nd mth.
Like me she wanted to get it all done in one op, so a much bigger op, but only one op to recover from. (I looked into breast recon process post op and just looks like a lot of hassle… a lady posted a blog/diary with photos of the process over the months. Not as easy as you’d think, so good to research it (her blog was brilliant… not allowed to post links here but she is called Jo Beth Rabitz if you want to google it)
If I go for double mx I want recon at the same time. I have a high pain threshold so would rather one op.

Not any easy decision.