Hi TT, you ask what my lot do for mx patients... I see a doctor every six months who does a manual examination of both sides, armpits, and collar bone nodes, and then we discuss whatever I want to discuss. I don't know how they would pick up chest wall recurrence in my case as I had a reconstruction straight way, but my tumour was fat the fonrt, roughly behind the nipple so maybe I'm low risk for that, if still high-ish risk overall. I believe some younger women get MRI scans and/or ultrasound as well/instead (I was 47 at dx, now 49 so in between).
Lots of different views (and controversy )on the screening debate subject which i quess is completely understandable for some people , when i was DX in 2007 my clinic only did 2 yrly mammos after a BC DX, this has now been changed to yearly after the NICE guidelines changed in 2010 , Unfortunately for me , my clinic didnt change to the reccomended NICE guildelines in time as i was re DX with a new primary in my opposite breast at my 2 yr final screening mammo at discharge! No obvious sign of any lumps ,not felt by me or my clinic at my discharge appointment . Realy wish id have been in the yrly screening group then i suspect this new cancer would have been picked up a lot earler, possibily even the year before , whilst still at the DCIS stage ,and proberly therfore even mabe avioding the need for many more horrible and barbaric treatments. By the time my 2nd BC was picked up it was 25mm invasive IDC surrounded by DCIS ,extensive lymphovascular invasion,grade 3 and HER2 +++. Screening advantages for me far outweighs the small percentage of people who may/may not be over DX ,for most people i suspect surely if theres "something" there im sure they would rather know about it and have rid of it than take any chances, theres no doubt screening has saved many lives and will continue to do so. Only wish id had it a year earlier!
Clearly practice varies quite widely. In Leics we are only seen for 5 years and the hospital visits are annual, alternating between the oncology and the surgical teams. As far as I can see this is standard practice for everyone here unless they develop meets. I have already given my views re the mammo schedul here - every 18 months for 5 years post diagnosis & not linked in with the hopsital follow up appointments
My onc told me that HE would prefer his pts to have annual mammos but that that isn not the policy here. As with SIGN, RevCat I think the NICE standard is 12-24 months
Just bypassing any controversy over the risks/benefits of mammograms, another response on frequency of mammos post diagnosis.
I am in Scotland and if I recall correctly, according to SIGN (roughly equivalent to NICE) follow up mamograms should be 'once to twice yearly' though mostly people think this is a grammar error and they mean 'one to two yearly'. The hospital where I was diagnosed carries annual (yearly) mammos for women who had WLE/Lumpectomy and biannual (twpo yearly) for women who had mastectomy. To me that has a clear logic - WLE you still have part/most of your affected breast; mastectomy it's gone.
My hospital see me every six months at the breast clinic (surgical) for five years, and thereafter annually for a further five, making a total of ten. I have been discharged by the oncology team. I also have open access to a BCN for the duration of that period. I am not sure how widespread this practice is, but they have an excellent MDT (multi-disicplinary team) so I feel confident any concerns would get picked up quickly.
Now there's a comment to start some controversy!
I have a lot of symathy with your point of view but it ain't a popular one on the forums!
I note the results of the latest 'research' published only yesterday, on the efficacy of routine mammography & which suuports the current thinking. I remain sceptical - despite my own BC havindg been 'picked' up by a routine mammo.
I feel real concern about the untold numbers of women with DCIS who have been subjected to the whole BC treatment gammut- .....and for whom it might all have been unnecessary.
I had an "invitation" to mamogram about a year after dx but didn;'t take up their highly resistable offfer. Eventually, when I better understood the harms/risks of over dx etc. I got my name removed from the list. In the meantime I will know that I am not in the 20% of false negatives!
thanks all. Previously everyone I knew about was getting them annually. It seems 18 months is not too long between mammograms - and after all, under normal circumstances I wouldn't be having them at all at my age
I am in newcastle and we have them yearly for 5 years - there are pros and cons - the anxiety of it being so frequent / the anxiety of it not being frequent enough!!! also too many mammos may not be that good for us - if you are worried you might want to check out the NICE guidelines on their website...
In Leicestershire, BC patients get mammos very 18months for the first 5 years post treament.(I'm not sure what happens after that)
Unfortunately the mammo schedule is not syncronised with the yearly hospital follow-up appointments. So in my own case, I had a mammo in March 2011 and a consultant appointment in August 2011; then nothing until my consultant appointment last month ... ....and now a mammo appointment next week : doesn't seem a very clever system to me.....but I'm only the patient....!
Is everyone else gettting a mammogram 2 years after diagnosis / surgery? I assumed I would be having one as I had a one year mammogram exactly 12 months after dx. I said about it when I last saw the onc (after finishing herceptin) and she said I would only get a mammogram every 18 months. The friends I made on here while I was having chemo all seem to be having mammograms after 2 years. Is it just my hospital that is different?