After undergoing a mastectomy, there’s only a few places that cancer could reappear, and thankfully most of them are easily identifiable.
Overtop of the silicon implant sits a layer of chest muscle, AlloDerm or artificial skin, or just a layer of normal fatty tissue. A mastectomy removes all breast tissue which leaves little room for cancer to come back. If there is a recurrence, you should be able to easily feel or even see it.
But don’t forget to check the lymph nodes in your armpit as well. Even after having a lumpectomy or mastectomy, cancer can still recur in the lymph nodes. In the case of a recurrence, the lymph nodes can swell to the size of a golf ball, meaning self exams are very important. Your doctor can also perform a breast MRI to detect a recurrence.
This targets local regional recurrence and catches more subtle cancers that aren’t as easily detected during self exams.
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