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