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Friday, April 09, 2010 Melanie, Community Member, asks

Q: Breast Cancer after Mastectomy on Same Side?

My Mother had breast cancer three years ago and had a mastectomy of her left breast,  she had been ill  with horrible back pain and feeling of indigestion on her left side, ever since her reconstruction surgery 5 months ago. She was told to get an EKG which came back fine and then a pect? scan which was fine, so we basically thought she was just being paranoid - her oncologist insisted she have a MRI this past monday and it came back that they found something questionable on her left breast under her implant. My question is how can this happen? is it something that the surgeon didn't take out 3 years ago or something new. I thought once you have the breast removed you never have to worry about BC again? Please clarify for me. By the way, she wishes she never had implant from the day she got it! Thanks for your insight. Melanie

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Answers (1)
PJ Hamel, Health Guide
4/ 9/10 10:44pm

Hi Melanie - Unfortunately, the surgeon can never remove all of the breast tissue, even with a total mastectomy - there's always a bit left over where it connects to the chest wall. So your mom may very well have cancer in that spot. But then again, it may be scar tissue, or something going on with the implant. Whatever it is, make sure she follows through with the diagnostic process till they determine what the spot is, and hopefully till they also determine what's making her feel so ill. "We don't know the answer" isn't a good option once you've had cancer, so if that's what you hear, ask to be referred to someone else for a second opinion, OK? Best of luck to you both - PJH

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By Melanie, Community Member— Last Modified: 12/26/10, First Published: 04/09/10