publication date: May. 25, 2018

Clinical Roundup

Breast cancer survivors aren’t getting recommended number of mammograms post-surgery

Breast cancer survivors are not getting the recommended level of screening, post-surgery, according to a study in JNCCN – Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network.

The study was led by Kathryn Ruddy, director of cancer survivorship for the Department of Oncology, Mayo Clinic Cancer Center. Ruddy—who is also a member of the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines) Panel for Survivorship—looked at the post-surgery mammography rates for women with health insurance.

While NCCN Guideline recommend annual mammograms for early detection of disease recurrence, this study found that even women who remained insured were less likely to meet that standard, as they became long-term survivors.

“The use of regular mammograms to detect a return of breast cancer before any symptoms appear is associated with better overall survival,” Ruddy said in a statement. “Therefore, clinicians need to make sure that their patients are fully aware of the role these annual mammograms play in screening for new breast cancers as well as for local recurrences. Creating and implementing survivorship care plans with clear follow-up instructions may help ensure that more survivors adhere to recommended screening schedules.”

The researchers followed 27,212 patients for a median of 2.9 years after breast cancer surgery (excluding those who had bilateral mastectomy, for whom mammograms are not needed), with 4,790 patients remaining in the study cohort for at least 65 months. The retrospective analysis used the OptumLabs Data Warehouse, containing claims from privately insured patients and Medicare Advantage enrollees from across the United States. One year out from surgery, they found 13% of the survivors had not undergone any breast imaging. The … Continue reading Breast cancer survivors aren’t getting recommended number of mammograms post-surgery

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