Annual mammography after breast cancer may improve survival, researchers say

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: (Published 28 September 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d6222
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. 1London

Regular mammographic surveillance of women who have had breast cancer is likely to improve their survival, a new study concludes.

The researchers point out, however, that the evidence base is relatively weak and that more research is needed in this area (

The United Kingdom has 45 000 new cases of breast cancer each year, and the cancer reoccurs in about a quarter of these women. Most of these recurrences are found in the first three years after treatment.

There is currently debate about how best to detect a recurrence and how often women should be followed up. Recurrent breast cancer can be found through mammography, self examination by the women themselves, or examination by a clinician. The surveillance regimens used vary widely around the country.

The study concludes that surveillance …

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