Mammography Surveillance Following Breast Cancer
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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.
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