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Follow-Up Procedures Common in Women After Breast-Conserving Surgery

Follow-Up Procedures Common in Women After Breast-Conserving Surgery

04/05/12

THURSDAY, April 5 (HealthDay News) -- Many breast cancer patients who have undergone breast-conserving surgery undergo follow-up diagnostic and invasive breast procedures, a new study says.

Breast-conserving surgery is the most common treatment for women with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) breast cancer, but the amount of subsequent care in this group of patients wasn't known.

In this study, researchers examined data from DCIS patients who underwent breast-conserving surgery at three large health-care systems in Massachusetts and California and were followed for up to 10 years.

Over that time, 31 percent of the women had diagnostic mammograms and 62 percent had invasive procedures to check for the return of breast cancer.

"Breast-conserving treatment is a reasonable option for women with DCIS and results in similar long-term mortality outcomes as mastectomy," said Dr. Larissa Nekhlyudov, an assistant professor in the department of population medicine at Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute in Boston. "However, invasive procedures and diagnostic evaluation workup for possible recurrent breast cancer extends over a long period following DCIS excision and treatment," she said.

The researchers said the high rates of diagnostic imaging and invasive procedures may be due to concerns about recurrence.

"The fact that women undergoing breast-conserving surgery are likely to have diagnostic and invasive breast procedures ... is important and needs to be included in discussions about treatment options," the researchers noted.

The study appears April 5 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

More information

The American Cancer Society has more about surgery for breast cancer.

Copyright © 2012 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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