Long-term impact of previous breast biopsy on breast cancer screening modalities



Approximately 80% of breast biopsies are performed for what proves to be a benign process. The patients who undergo these procedures should continue screening with breast physical examination and mammography. The long-term impact of breast biopsy on these screening modalities has not been well studied. We performed a prospective, follow-up evaluation in 63 patients who underwent needle localization biopsy with benign histology at our institution between 6 and 7 years ago. This evaluation consisted of a directed history, breast physical examination, and follow-up mammogram. Two patients (3%) had undergone mastectomy for an interval breast cancer; 17 others (28%) had undergone subsequent biopsies. No patient had changes on physical examination of the biopsy site. All mammograms were evaluated as normal or as having benign abnormalities. Excisional breast biopsy does not generally produce long-term changes affecting the interpretation of breast physical examination or mammography.