Ask an Expert: View a Question

Ask an Expert is a free question-and-answer service about breast cancer and breast health that is available on weekends. If you'd like to ask a question or comment, please visit us again on Saturday or Sunday. In the meantime, please search the existing topics using the search tool at the top of the page. It's quite possible that one of our many existing topics already addresses your question.

If you would like a consultation with a breast specialist at the Johns Hopkins Avon Foundation Breast Center, call 443-997-8282. It is possible to get an appointment for a second opinion within a few days of contacting us.

We hope you find the information helpful!.

ForumQuestionsAsk a Question
Facts and Myths about Breast Cancer
Questions on the facts and myths of breast cancer.
1,039 Ask a Question

AskedPublicly Submitted Question
12/17/2017Why the Cancer would come back even with people had negative margins and did radiation therapy as well as took many years anti hormone medication? Is the recurrence from leftover cancer cells or because the body condition? is there anyway to check if there still are cancer cells in breast or not when people have negative margins after surgery?
RepliedJHU's Breast Center Reply
12/17/2017Because cancer is such a microscopic disease, even when we have the appropriate treatment(s), there is always a risk that cancer can come back, OR, we can develop a second cancer, either in the same breast or the other. Continuing monthly breast self-exams, yearly mammograms and a yearly clinical breast exam by your doctor is the best way to stay on top of your breast health. There is no way to check for additional cancer cells except in the specimen taken during surgery and to continue to look for abnormalities on breast imaging. As a breast cancer survivor myself, I understand all to well that there are no guarantees, even with the best treatment available at the time.

Please note: This service is not intended to provide primary medical advice concerning specific medical care or treatment. Ask an Expert is a free service operated by health care professionals at the Johns Hopkins Avon Foundation Breast Center. Due to the volume of questions and their complexity, there are times when medical oncologists, surgeons, radiation oncologists or oncology nurses are consulted for their input. These individuals volunteer their time for this service and will respond as soon as they are able. Please do not post or send the same question to us in multiple locations or categories.

The contents of this portion of the website cannot be used as a substitute for a consultation with your doctor or other healthcare provider. It also may not represent the opinions of other Johns Hopkins professionals. It is a free service performed on volunteer time and intended to provide feedback to questions posted by consumers however should not be used as a directive or instructions to now follow. Seeing your own medical provider is always important in getting your needs and questions addressed. In the majority of cases, a clinical examination, review of pathology slides and xrays, along with other medical information is needed to truly provide a consultative service. If you wish to receive a formal consultation with our physicians please call 443-997-8282 for surgical appointments and 410-955-8964 for medical or radiation oncology appts. For breast imaging, call 410-955-4100.


© The Johns Hopkins University, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, and Johns Hopkins Health System, All rights reserved.