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Mammogram most effective 12 months after radiation treatment
Date:11/25/2008

erapy and radiation between 1995 and 2005 and who had follow-up mammograms at UCLA within one year after completing radiation. The median interval between radiation and the initial mammogram was 3.1 months. Only 10 patients had suspicious findings on their mammograms and of those only two were found to have recurrent cancer. Both of the cases were noninvasive ductal carcinomas.

The cost of a mammogram is about $115 and many women can experience moderate to severe pain during the procedure and high levels of anxiety during a needle biopsy. The authors determined that because only 0.49 recurrences were detected per 100 mammograms and only noninvasive ductal carcinoma was found, mammograms should not be performed until at least one year after radiation to avoid the medical and psychological costs associated with mammography.

"Omitting the initial post-radiotherapy examination may improve the psychological well-being of patients, especially for women who have already been shown to have breast cancer," Kevin Lin, M.D., lead author of the study and a radiation oncologist at Advanced Oncology Center in West Covina, Calif., said.


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Contact: Beth Bukata
bethb@astro.org
703-839-7332
American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology
Source:Eurekalert

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