After Mastectomy, Don't Neglect Breast Imaging and Biopsy

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Mastectomy to treat or prevent breast cancer doesn’t eliminate the need for imaging tests and biopsies in the future, according to a study led by researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. These findings are significant because more and more breast cancer patients who may be eligible for breast conserving therapies like lumpectomy are choosing to have mastectomies instead.

The researchers calculated post-mastectomy imaging and biopsy rates during a 30-month follow-up period in 185 patients who had undergone unilateral (one side) mastectomies and 200 patients who had undergone bilateral (both sides) mastectomies at Mount Sinai Hospital's Dubin Breast Center in NYC between 2009 and 2015.

In unilateral mastectomy patients, about 10 percent had further ultrasounds on the affected side, 6 percent had additional biopsies, and 1 percent experienced another malignancy. In bilateral mastectomy patients, more than 15 percent had further ultrasounds or MRIs, 8 percent had additional biopsies, and 1.5 percent experienced another malignancy. Although rates of additional malignancies in mastectomy patients are low, they still need further diagnostic testing, according to the researchers.

Sourced from: Annals of Surgical Oncology