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

Debbiej Member Posts: 7
edited April 2018 in General discussion
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 :)


  • Afraser
    Afraser Member Posts: 4,392
    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.
  • primek
    primek Member Posts: 5,392
    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. 
  • Brenda5
    Brenda5 Member Posts: 2,423
    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.
  • Debbiej
    Debbiej Member 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! ;)
  • Debbyd
    Debbyd Member Posts: 4
    Here we go again had left bc lumpectomy this time last year followed by 6 months chemo 6 weeks radiotherapy and on hormone therapy. Had follow up with surgeon yesterday along with a mammogram which showed right breast calcifications cysts, now awaiting vacuum biopsy on Friday. Just when you think things are getting back on track your hit in the face again 
  • Patti J
    Patti J Member, Dragonfly Posts: 589
    Yes, it is possible to have a recurrence. Last July, 15 years after my first diagnosis of ductal carcinoma in-situ, I was diagnised with an invasive lobular carcinoma. I have metastases in my neck, spine, bones and liver. Apart from that, I am very healthy!
  • Tennille
    Tennille Member Posts: 174
    Unfortunately yes, 7 years ago mastectomy, level 2 clearance, chemo, radiation, tamoxifen 5 years, aromasin and Zoladex 1 year. New primary in left breast that changed from hormone positive to triple negative, mets to liver and multiple bones. Just stay healthy and live life. What will be will be.
  • Riki_BCNA
    Riki_BCNA Staff Posts: 323
    Debbyd it can be a very worrying time waiting for tests but it is also important to not to think the worst before you have definitive results and that is why speaking to your health care team is important to ensure they are aware of all your concerns. Wishing you all the best for Friday and please do not hesitate to contact the BCNA Helpline on 1800 500 258 for support.