Mammograms after mastectomy?

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Question from Sanche: My sister-in-law just attended a mammographer's conference in Las Vegas. The keynote speaker stated that one should still have yearly mammograms even after bilateral mastectomies with or without reconstruction to check the armpit and shoulder areas. Have you ever heard of this? I thought that once you've had a bilateral that an annual X-ray was the follow-up, with no more mammograms.
Answers - Jennifer Sabol, M.D., F.A.C.S. I am unaware of any data that is supportive of further imaging with mammography for a breast that has had a mastectomy. The incidence of recurrence within the axillary lymph node with today's modern surgical techniques should be exceedingly low and not warrant screening in this population. I would, however, fully support a clinical breast exam to evaluate the skin over the reconstruction as well as the axilla for any evidence of recurrence.

The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Reconstruction Updates featured Joseph Serletti, M.D. and moderator Jennifer Sabol, M.D. answering your questions about breast reconstruction.

Editor's Note: This conference took place in May 2007.

The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.

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