What is the role of postoperative screening mammograms following breast cancer surgery?

Updated: Oct 17, 2016
  • Author: Nagwa Dongola, MD, FRCR; Chief Editor: Peter Eby, MD  more...
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Answer

Women who had previous surgery for breast cancer may still require breast cancer screening with mammography. If a woman had a total mastectomy, then continued annual screening of the other breast is recommended because the patient is at higher risk of developing cancer in the remaining breast. If she had subcutaneous or nipple-sparing mastectomy or partial mastectomy or lumpectomy, then annual screening is recommended for the treated breast. The first mammogram of the treated breast is often performed 6 months postoperatively to provide a baseline for the new postoperative and radiation changes. Thereafter, the mammogram may be performed every 6-12 months for screening and follow-up.


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