Can cancer return after you've had a unilateral mastectomy; chemo; Herception, inhibitor?

DebbiejDebbiej Central Coast NSWMember Posts: 7
Hi everyone,
I'm curious to know if cancer can make a return visit after I've had a unilateral mastectomy; 12 weeks chemo; 17 1/3 treatments of Herception and I'm on Arimedex (hormone inhibitor)?

Due to two lots of micro calcification, I had a left great mastectomy 16/1/17 (12 months next week) and have 1 1/3 Herceptions to go and am on Arimedex for five years. When I had an ultrasound and mammogram of right breast it shows that there is a small amount of micro calcification in the breast. Too small to do a biopsy on. Apparently I had it when I was diagnosed with HER2 in the left breast 16/11/16
which then confused me because I thought the surgeon had said if there had been any indication of micro calcification she would take both breasts off!
I have to have another ultrasound and mammogram in six months (May)

Anyway, I'm curious to know whether because I've had the chemo; herceptin and on hormone inhibitor, the micro calcification hasn't grown.
I realise that the "C" word is always sort of tucked up at the back of my mind.

I was told that I would go between the surgeon and oncologist every three months for the next two years to keep an eye on things.

Anyone had similar situation?

Sorry for my ramblings!

Thanks in advance for any comments :)

Comments

  • AfraserAfraser MelbourneMember Posts: 1,113
    Hi there
    I can't say much about micro calcification not having experinced that but having had a mastectomy, 6 months of chemo, 12 months of herceptin and five years of Femara (letrozole), there are still no guarantees! My chance of a recurrence of the original cancer is much lower now after five years, but my chances of a new cancer (breast or elsewhere) are still much the same as before. I went to my surgeon and oncologist alternately as you have been told (so saw one every 3 months) now I will only see them once a year (one every six months). Unfortunately a cancer diagnosis takes you across a line - you can no longer imagine it will never happen to you. But for your own peace of mind you should have a good conversation with your surgeon and oncologist about the situation. Diagnoses differ between people and good medical professionals have their different ideas too. Most of us instinctively want to have cancer removed, but there may be sense in monitoring a very slow developing cancer, that may never change in years, until any change makes surgery a better option. Best wishes.
  • primekprimek Broken HillMember Posts: 3,540
    The reality is a new primary breast cancer can develop in the other breast and it can be a completely different pathology than your first primary breast cancer. This is however very rare. So have the conversation. Follow through with appointments. Micro-calcifications can be nothing. I had a number through my breasts that were removed and that's all they were. Yes...we will always fear recurrence or a new bc. But communication with your team is the best way to deal with it. 
  • Brenda5Brenda5 Burrum Heads, QldMember Posts: 1,682
    Mine was single side mastectomy as well and had chemo and now Tamoxifen. At my 2 year ultrasound and mammogram they said I had a cyst at 12 o'clock but nothing to worry about. I looked back on my original tests and it was present when I had the tumor in the other breast. I did say the surgeon could take both if he wanted but he wouldnt hear of it. Now every year I have to go through the mammogram thing and worry that cyst will grow.
  • DebbiejDebbiej Central Coast NSWMember Posts: 7
    Thanks girls! I do understand that our journeys are down different tracks sometimes but do also appreciate your comments. I'm alive and very grateful. Onwards and upwards! ;)
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