An evaluation of post-lumpectomy recurrence rates: Is follow-up every 6 months for 2 years needed?


  • Conflicts of interest: none.


Background and Objectives

There is currently debate about the optimal timing and frequency of mammography follow-up after breast-conserving therapy (BCT). The purpose of this study was to determine if 6-month intervals for the first 2 years following BCT offer benefit over annual screening.


Three hundred ninety-nine patients who had lumpectomies between 1997 and 2009 and who were followed for at least 2 years with mammography were selected. The mammography yields for the first 2 years following BCT were compared to those of the general screening population. Also, patients were grouped as either compliant or noncompliant with the recommended 6-month intervals; Fischer's exact test was used to determine if there was a relationship between the grouping (compliant or noncompliant) and tumor recurrence.


Mammography yield was 0.94 and 2.87 per 1,000 for the first and second years, respectively, following surgery. Three hundred twenty-eight patients were categorized as compliant and 1 local recurrence was discovered in this group; 67 patients were labeled as noncompliant and 0 local recurrences were found in this group.


Mammography yield of cancer in the study population was not greater than the general population. There was no difference between the compliant and noncompliant groups regarding tumor recurrence. J. Surg. Oncol. 2013;107:597–601. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.