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Breast. 2010 Dec;19(6):439-45. doi: 10.1016/j.breast.2010.05.010. Epub 2010 Jun 12.

Mammographic surveillance in women with a personal history of breast cancer: how accurate? How effective?

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School of Public Health A27, Sydney Medical School, Edward Ford Building A27, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia.


We review the accuracy and potential effect of mammography in surveillance of women with a personal history of breast cancer (PHBC). A literature review was performed to identify studies on screening mammography or breast surveillance reporting data on the accuracy or detection capability of mammography, or the effect of early detection of second breast cancers, in women with a PHBC. Evidence on mammography screening in women with PHBC comes from non-randomised studies, and is generally limited by several factors including design limitations. The proportion of ipsilateral breast recurrences detected with mammography ranges between 50% and 80% (including cancers detected also on clinical examination) but is lower at 8%-51% for mammography-only detection. Mammography detects approximately 45%-90% of contralateral cancers. There is evidence of a potential benefit for asymptomatic/early-detected second breast cancers (range of estimated hazard ratios: 0.10-0.86) relative to symptomatic or clinical-detection, in various surveillance strategies that include mammography, however these estimates are likely to have overestimated screening benefit. New evaluations of screening women with a PHBC are needed from screening programs or population datasets, to provide comprehensive measures of screening accuracy and outcomes in this population of women.

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