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Interval post-treatment mammogram not needed for breast cancer patients, study suggests

Date:
April 29, 2011
Source:
American Society for Radiation Oncology
Summary:
An annual mammogram is sufficient follow-up after breast conserving therapy (BCT) for breast cancer patients, according to a new study.

An annual mammogram is sufficient follow-up after breast conserving therapy (BCT) for breast cancer patients, according to a study presented April 29, at the Cancer Imaging and Radiation Therapy Symposium in Atlanta. This symposium is co-sponsored by the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) and Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).

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In this study, researchers wanted to determine the clinical relevance and utility of an interval mammogram (IM) after BCT. BCT is when a patient is treated with a lumpectomy and radiation rather than a mastectomy for early-stage breast cancer.

According to the study, annual mammograms are frequently conducted after BCT; however, some radiologists recommend an IM to take place at six months after the first post-treatment mammogram (five months after the completion of radiation treatment on average) to ensure stability, to check for recurrence or to check for any new cancers.

For this trial, 88 out of 467 BCT patients from Abington Memorial Hospital in Abington, Pa., received an IM. The IM led to four biopsies that yielded no recurring or new breast cancers. Patients returned to receiving their annual mammograms after receiving the IM.

Researchers determined that eliminating the IM would result in lower health care costs without a significant impact on the outcome of the patient.

"We continually see post-BCT patients get an IM and it is always normal," Scott Herbert, MD, senior author of the study and a clinical associate professor of radiation oncology at Drexel University in Philadelphia, said. "I think this will prompt physicians to reconsider the recommendation for an IM, which will ultimately save the medical community and the patients money, in addition to decreasing patient stress and minimizing unnecessary biopsies."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Society for Radiation Oncology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Society for Radiation Oncology. "Interval post-treatment mammogram not needed for breast cancer patients, study suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 April 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110429095113.htm>.
American Society for Radiation Oncology. (2011, April 29). Interval post-treatment mammogram not needed for breast cancer patients, study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110429095113.htm
American Society for Radiation Oncology. "Interval post-treatment mammogram not needed for breast cancer patients, study suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110429095113.htm (accessed April 18, 2015).

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