Signs of breast cancer recurrence

Kevin Fox, MD
Last Modified: February 24, 2002

Question

Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"

I was diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer in May 2001. I had a radical mastectomy. My surgeons tell me I am free of cancer. I would like to know what I should be looking for in case of reccurrence. I am aware that the best indicator of reccurrence is how well I know my body and to detect any changes. What changes should I be looking for?  


Answer

Kevin Fox, MD, Assistant Director, Clinical Affairs and Associate Professor of Hematology/Oncology at the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania, responds:

Patients concerned about recurrence should report, in my opinion, any symptom that has no obvious explanation, and lasts for more than a week. If a patient drops a tire iron on their foot and their foot hurts, it need not be reported. If they have a week of back pain, and don't know where it came from, it should be reported. Routine x-rays and scans, other than annual mammograms, are not recommended.


Blogs

Coping With Fear of Recurrence
by OncoLink Editorial Team
March 27, 2014

Don't Assume You Understand
by Bob Riter
July 29, 2015