Mammogram after Mastectomy?

Last Modified: December 2, 2007

Question:

Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"

I had a nipple-sparing mastectomy last year. Do I need to have mammograms because of the nipple sparing? I have seen reference to this in clinical practice guidelines, but I think they mean if you only had one breast removed.

Answer:

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

Your assumption is correct. Mammograms serve no purpose after bilateral mastectomy, even with nipple sparing. For you, a good clinical exam and review of your health or any symptoms suffices.

This is not the case for women who only had one breast removed, as they should continue to have mammograms on the remaining breast.

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