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Eur J Cancer Clin Oncol. 1984 Jul;20(7):877-80.

Bone scintigraphy in patients with operable breast cancer stages I and II. Final conclusion after five-year follow-up.


A 5-yr follow-up study was performed in 90 patients with stage I and II breast cancer who had a routine preoperative bone scan. The percentage of positive preoperative scans was 3.4%. Twenty-four of the 90 patients died within 5 yr. In all patients except five a follow-up scan was obtained. The results of our first study were confirmed. In only one of the three patients with a positive preoperative scan suspicious for bone metastases did bone metastases develop in this 5-yr follow-up study. One patient with an equivocal preoperative scan developed bone metastases. In 14 of the 16 patients with bone metastases and a positive scan in the follow-up period the preoperative scan was negative. From the preoperative and follow-up scan results we conclude that in stage I and II breast cancer there is no value in preoperative bone scanning. Routine bone scanning in the follow-up period appears to have little value in the asymptomatic patient.

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