Dear Jim98027: Follow up for breast cancer is based upon the preferences of physicians as well as the specifics of the disease. The ASCO (American Society of Clinical Oncology) guidelines do not recommend regular scanning for “screening” for metastasis. Evidence suggests that scanning does not generally pick up metastatic disease early enough to change the course of treatment. You may benefit from a discussion with your wife's oncologist.
I guess that is my point. The treatment in the past did not sufficiently monitor an already aggressive type of cancer, HER2. Being told the cancer is never cured but dormant should change some thinking based on today's findings. If a body can resist Tamoxifen over time why would you not use scans? Tumors under 1cm may not be detected but once an area enlarges beyond 1cm the only weapon is the scan.
I am so sorry about your wife. I agree with you completely! My former oncologist (he fired me because I missed an appointment) reviews my bloodwork results every 4 mos., but has never order a scan and I am taking Tamoxifen. My sister-in-law had breast cancer 5 yrs ago and she was taking Tamoxifen. She recently found out that the cancer had metastasized to her brain. It did not come back in her breast either. Her oncologist also only looked at her lab results for the past 5 yrs. and never ordered a scan. Another oncologist told her that she should have had scans every 6 mos or annually. Breast cancer follow up procedures should not be left up to the preference of the oncologist, but should be mandated by the ASCO.
I am sorry about your wife. But I agree my aunt had bc 4 yrs ago and had a mastectomy. She was never scanned and now she has stage IV pancreatic cancer. It just looks like when someone has or had cancer they would have ct scans, mri's etc. Maybe someone should petittion Washington for more strict policies. Good Luck
Hi Jim, I just want to say that I am so sorry about your wife. I read your post and it broke my heart and I am sorry for you both. I lost my mum to breast cancer that invaded her, and I have just had a mastectomy and its terrifying and so frustrating and it seems that everyone on these posts, myself included are not being told everything and not being given everything that we should be given to treat us. I just want to send you both my wishes and prayers
I am so sorry for the grief of everyone who has wriiten here. I recently lost most vision in one eye, so I know a lot about grief and shock. However, your losses are profound. I wish you and your loved ones all the comfort and support possible
The worst part of my experience was lack of support, from medical caretakers, and friends and family. Ithis was also traumatic.I hope your situation is far better. Reach out to people, if you are up to it.