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Authors Neuman HB, Schumacher JR, Francescatti AB, Adesoye T, Edge SB, Burnside ES, Vanness DJ, Yu M, Si Y, McKellar D, Winchester DP, Greenberg CC
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Journal Ann. Surg. Oncol. Volume: 23 Issue: 10 Pages: 3385-91
Publish Date 2016 Oct
PubMed ID 27491784
PMC ID 5015646

Although breast cancer follow-up guidelines emphasize the importance of clinical examinations, prior studies suggest a small fraction of local-regional events occurring after breast conservation are detected by examination alone. Our objective was to examine how local-regional events are detected in a contemporary, national cohort of high-risk breast cancer survivors.A stage-stratified sample of stage II/III breast cancer patients diagnosed in 2006-2007 (n = 11,099) were identified from 1217 facilities within the National Cancer Data Base. Additional data on local-regional and distant breast events, method of event detection, imaging received, and mortality were collected. We further limited the cohort to patients with breast conservation (n = 4854). Summary statistics describe local-regional event rates and detection method.Local-regional events were detected in 5.5 % (n = 265) of patients. Eighty-three percent were ipsilateral or contralateral in-breast events, and 17 % occurred within ipsilateral lymph nodes. Forty-eight percent of local-regional events were detected on asymptomatic breast imaging, 29 % by patients, and 10 % on clinical examination. Overall, 0.5 % of the 4854 patients had a local-regional event detected on examination. Examinations detected a higher proportion of lymph node events (8/45) compared with in-breast events (18/220). No factors were associated with method of event detection.Clinical examinations, as an adjunct to screening mammography, have a modest effect on local-regional event detection. This contradicts current belief that examinations are a critical adjunct to mammographic screening. These findings can help to streamline follow-up care, potentially improving follow-up efficiency and quality.

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