Breast Cancer Research and Treatment

, Volume 81, Issue 2, pp 107–115

Mammography Surveillance Following Breast Cancer


  • Berta M. Geller
    • Health Promotion Research, College of MedicineUniversity of Vermont
  • Karla Kerlikowske
    • Department of Epidemiology and BiostatisticsUniversity of California
    • General Internal Medicine Section, Department of Veterans AffairsUniversity of California
  • Patricia A. Carney
    • Norris Cotton Cancer Center/Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center/Department of Community and Family MedicineDartmouth Medical School
  • Linn A. Abraham
    • Center for Health StudiesGroup Health Cooperative
  • Bonnie C. Yankaskas
    • Department of RadiologyUniversity of North Carolina
  • Stephen H. Taplin
    • Center for Health StudiesGroup Health Cooperative
  • Rachel Ballard-Barbash
    • Applied Research Branch, CSRP, DCCPSNational Cancer Institute
  • Mark B. Dignan
    • AMC Cancer Center
  • Robert Rosenberg
    • Department of RadiologyUniversity of New Mexico
  • Nicole Urban
    • Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Division of Public HealthUniversity of Washington
  • William E. Barlow
    • Center for Health StudiesGroup Health Cooperative
    • Department of BiostatisticsUniversity of Washington

DOI: 10.1023/A:1025794629878

Cite this article as:
Geller, B.M., Kerlikowske, K., Carney, P.A. et al. Breast Cancer Res Treat (2003) 81: 107. doi:10.1023/A:1025794629878


Background. To describe when women diagnosed with breast cancer return for their first mammography, and to identify factors predictive of women returning for mammographic surveillance.

Methods. Women who underwent mammography at facilities participating in the National Cancer Institute's Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium (BCSC) during 1996 and who were subsequently diagnosed with ductal carcinoma in situ or invasive breast cancer were included in this study. Data from seven mammography registries were linked to population-based cancer and pathology registries. Kaplan–Meier curves were used to depict the number of months from the breast cancer diagnosis to the first mammogram within the defined follow-up period. Demographic, disease and treatment variables were included in univariate and multivariate analyses to identify factors predictive of women returning for mammography.

Results. Of the 2503 women diagnosed with breast cancer, 78.1% returned for mammography examination between 7 and 30 months following the diagnosis. Mammography facilities indicated that 66.8% of mammography examinations were classified as screening. Multivariate analyses found that women were most likely to undergo surveillance mammography if they were diagnosed at ages 60–69 with Stage 0, I or II breast cancer and had received radiation therapy in addition to surgery.

Conclusions. While the majority of women return for mammographic surveillance following breast cancer, some important subgroups of women at higher risk for recurrence are less likely to return. Research is needed to determine why some women are not undergoing mammography surveillance after a breast cancer diagnosis and whether surveillance increases the chance of detecting tumors with a good prognosis.

breast cancermammographyrecurrencescreeningsurveillance

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003