One-Third of Breast Cancer Patients in US Not Given Mammograms in Year After Treatment

One-Third of Breast Cancer Patients in US Not Given Mammograms in Year After Treatment
Breast cancer patients are recommended to undergo annual mammography screenings after finishing their treatment, but recent data suggests that nearly one-third of these women in the U.S. are not even starting post-treatment screenings — and that access in the first year often determines whether mammograms will be offered patients in subsequent  years. The findings were presented at the 2016 Annual Clinical Congress of the American College of Surgeons, held Oct. 16–20 in Washington, D.C. A team at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, led by Dr. Caprice Greenberg, examined the use of surveillance magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and mammography in 9,622 women who underwent surgery for Stage 2 or Stage 3 breast cancer. Data gathered came from the National Cancer Database (NCDB) for  2006 and 2007. Researchers evaluated imaging, new cancer, cancer recurrence, and death rates over a five-year period from the time of diagnosis. In addition, they collected information regarding the reason for imaging (diagnostic assessment of a new sign or symptom of breast cancer, or follow-up breast surveillance without any signs and symptoms). Half of the women taking part in the study were under age 60. "Most of what we know about breast imaging comes from small studies or from Medicare data, a population that is 65 years old and older," Greenberg, who is also the director of the Wisconsin Surgical Outcomes Research Program (WiSOR), said in a news release. "This study is the first to look at a large,
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