Follow Up After Bilateral Mastectomy

The University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing
Ultima Vez Modificado: 13 de diciembre del 2011

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What is the current advice on post bilateral mastectomy follow up, short term and long term (mammograms, manual palpation, mri's etc.?


Gary Freedman, MD, Radiation Oncologist at Penn , responds:

After a woman has undergone a bilateral mastectomy, the usual follow up is an examination by a heath professional twice a year and your own self-examinations monthly. There is no role for screening mammogram of a woman's chest wall, or breast reconstruction. Manual palpation will pick up most recurrences at a fairly small size - for a chest wall after mastectomy, there is little tissue between the skin and chest wall muscle for a recurrence to 'hide'. Similarly, a reconstructed implant is usually behind the pectoral muscle and recurrences can be felt in the thin layer of tissue between the skin and implant. MRI only has a role if there is a question of implant integrity, not routine screening.

This question and answer was part of the OncoLink Brown Bag Chat. Series, View the Life After Breast Cancer transcript.

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Nov 23, 2011 - The 10-year breast cancer-specific survival of patients with synchronous bilateral breast cancer and high-risk matches with unilateral breast cancer is not significantly different, according to a study published online Nov. 21 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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