Intended follow up of women with breast cancer at low risk of recurrence and at least 5 years from diagnosis

Robin Jean Bell, Pam Fradkin, Penelope Jane Robinson, Max Allan Schwarz, Susan Ruth Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Although there is evidence that minimal surveillance is compatible with an optimal outcome in women after early stage breast cancer, little is known of the surveillance that these women receive. Aims: To describe the intended clinical follow up and patterns of use of imaging modalities in low-risk breast cancer survivors who are at least 5 years from diagnosis. Methods: Participants in the Bupa Health Foundation Health and Wellbeing After Breast Cancer Study with stage 1 invasive breast cancer at diagnosis, who had survived free of recurrence or new primary breast cancer for at least 5 years, provided information for this analysis. Results: The most common choice of physician follow up was with one doctor only (54 ). Within this group, the most frequent choice was a general practitioner (GP) (63 ) followed by medical oncologist (23 ). Thirty-five percent of women said that they intended to consult two doctors and within this group, the most common combination was a GP and a medical oncologist (45 ). This was despite two out of three women reporting being advised that there was no need to consult a medical oncologist. Over 90 of women reported having a mammogram with, or without, breast ultrasound in the previous 12 months. There was a low rate of use of other imaging tests in the absence of clear indications. Conclusions: Minimising unnecessary medical consultations by women with breast cancer at low risk of recurrence 5 years from diagnosis will require education about the benefits of a minimal surveillance strategy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)332 - 338
Number of pages7
JournalInternal Medicine Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Cite this