Follow-Up After Breast Cancer

  • BBSG – Brazilian Breast Study Group


The number of breast cancer survivors has increased steadily due to early diagnosis and advances in treatment. It is estimated that there are 3,000,000 women with a history of breast cancer in the United States, which corresponds to 41% of all women with cancer in that country. These patients are exposed to the appearance of a new tumor, local recurrence, other types of cancer, and adverse effects of the treatment performed. There are differences in the literature on the best way to follow up such patients, which contributes to a variation of conduct among the entities that guide daily practice.

Recommended Reading

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    Ellegaard MB, Grau C, Zachariae R, Jensen AB. Women with breast cancer report substantially more disease- and treatment-related side or late effects than registered by clinical oncologists: a cross-sectional study of a standard follow-up program in an oncological department. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2017;164(3):727–36. A prospective study showing that intensive post-treatment investigation does not diagnose early-stage metastases. More important than research is the management of complications of long-term treatment, according to questionnaires answered by patients. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Khatcheressian JL, Hurley P, Bantug E, et al. Breast cancer follow-up and management after primary treatment: American Society of Clinical Oncology clinical practice guideline update. J Clin Oncol. 2013;31(7):961–5. Recommendations of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, not indicating complementary radiological and biochemical exams in asymptomatic women. However, it concludes that patients with tumors of worse prognosis (triple negative) need better studies to evaluate the impact of intensive follow-up. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Lash TL, Fox MP, Buist DS, et al. Mammography surveillance and mortality in older breast cancer survivors. J Clin Oncol. 2007;25(21):3001. Prospective study with over 1800 women above 65 y-o, with breast cancer at stages I and II, showing that continuation of tracking after treatment led to lower rate of specific death cases. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Quinn EM, Coveney AP, Redmond HP. Use of magnetic resonance imaging in detection of breast cancer recurrence: a systematic review. Ann Surg Oncol. 2012;19(9):3035. Meta-analysis including 10 studies and 494 patients, aiming to evaluate the impact on magnetic resonance imaging in recurrence of breast cancer. It showed the high sensitivity, but low specificity of this test, determining a greater number of interventions. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Senkus E, Kyriakides S, Ohno S, et al. Primary breast cancer: ESMO Clinical Practice Guidelines for diagnosis, treatment and follow-up. Ann Oncol. 2015;26(Suppl 5):v8–30. Recommendations of the European Society of Oncology as to post-treatment follow-up. CrossRefGoogle Scholar

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • BBSG – Brazilian Breast Study Group
    • 1
  1. 1.BBSGSao PauloBrazil

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