What happens after 5 years to mastectomy side?

I’ve been wondering if anyone knows what happens after the five years of breast checks is over. I only have one breast which I  know will be checked in a mammogram every three years. But what happens to the mastectomy side. The mobile mammogram van won’t check that side, so will it be  left for me to check it? After all, that is the side I had cancer in, and if I have a recurrence, that’s where it will be. Is there anyone in my position who has finished their 5 years of checks who can tell me?


poemsgalore xx

Surely if you had a mx, then they took everything out so there is nothing they can check and no breast tissue in which it can grow.  That is what i was told.  I will check under my arms as i had some lymph glands removed but there ws nothing at the time of surgery.


check with your oncologist what they actually took out 

@ Poemsgalore - do you have the option of yearly outpatient check-ups after the 5-year point?  I think that’s something offered at my local hospital although I’ve yet to reach that point and protocols may have changed by then.  If not, could your GP do a periodic physical examination to put your mind at rest? 


@Helenbythesea - I know of people who have had a full mastectomy and node clearance and have still had  a recurrence on the ‘affected’ side.  The surgeon or oncologist who I see on a 6-monthly basis always include palpating the affected side in the physical examination and I’ve certainly been told by my specialist team that it is just as important for me to continue to check the affected side. 

Hi, just reading this thread with interest and now a little worried…I’m still in the early stages of my journey having just had mx and starting chemo this week. I asked my consultant prior to mx and recon with implant about my worries of reacurrance behind it and would the implant cause a problem with diagnosing it. He told me that it would not be a problem because anything that mattered was now at the front as the implant was under the muscle and a reaccurance would be on the scar line or in the visible tissue??? Could it still reacur behind the implant then ??
Linda xx

I had a mx & LD flap reconstruction in Oct 12. My onc said that they wouldn’t be able to mammogram that side again.

I agree that it is a bit worrying.