Use of imaging in surveillance of women with early stage breast cancer
- R. J. Bell MBBS, PhD, MPH, FAFPHM; M. Schwarz MBBS, FRACP, FACP, FAChPM; P. Fradkin MBBS; S. R. Davis MBBS, PhD, FRACP.
Professor Robin Bell, Women's Health Program, School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Monash University, Level 6, The Alfred Centre, 99 Commercial Road, Melbourne, Vic. 3004, Australia. Email: email@example.com
There is no evidence of benefit in terms of survival or quality of life for intensive surveillance of women with early breast cancer (BC) and current guidelines reflect this. We have examined whether Victorian women, nearly 4 years from a diagnosis of localized BC, were being managed according to these guidelines.
Participants are women in the BUPA Health Foundation Health and Wellbeing after Breast Cancer prospective cohort study. All participants completed an enrolment questionnaire within 12 months of diagnosis and then completed follow-up questionnaires every 12 months thereafter. In the third follow-up questionnaire, completed nearly 4 years from the time of diagnosis, women were asked about imaging tests they had in the previous 12 months.
The analysis was completed on 673 women who were stage 1 at the time of diagnosis and had not reported evidence of recurrence or a new BC since diagnosis. Of the 673, 603 (89.5%) reported having had a mammogram in the previous 12 months and 319 (52.9% of those having a mammogram) reported a breast ultrasound. Seventy-one per cent of women reported no other imaging investigations in the previous 12 months.
Our study shows that, nearly 4 years from diagnosis, Australian practitioners are generally adhering to guidelines about imaging surveillance of BC survivors. Practitioners could use the guidelines for the education of BC survivors about appropriate health surveillance.