Please help us understand
My grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer a few years ago. She had a mastectomy a few months after she found out she had cancer. She didn't have chemotherapy or radiation, just the surgery. Then a few months later she said that she was free from cancer - they got it all during the surgery.
Now her doctors have found another lump. At this point, no one knows what it is and if it's cancer. Some of us aren't supposed to know but another family member told us after we suspected something was wrong.
Some of us family members are concerned about a few things. Is it normal to have a mastectomy and not get chemotherapy or radiation? She had talked about having to get chemo the first time but then she didn't have to. We all thought it was standard to get either chemo and/or radiation even if you do have a mastectomy.
The other thing is that since the mastectomy, it seems that her health is deteriorating. She has many other health problems but we can't see where they would be causing the symptoms she is having. We're wondering if maybe the doctors never got the cancer the first time and perhaps it spread. How do doctors usually determine whether they got it all?