During the course of 10 years following breast-conserving surgery (BC), more than 75% of women had a high rate of either diagnostic mammograms or invasive procedures in the same breast. The findings came from a study done by Larissa Nekhlyudov, MD, MPH of Harvard, and colleagues and published online in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
A report on the study by MedPage Today notes that women with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS)who opt to preserve their breasts with BCS "may not be aware of this potential outcome." "The fact that women undergoing breast-conserving surgery are likely to have diagnostic and invasive breast procedures in the conserved breast over an extended period of time is important and needs to be included in discussions about treatment options," the study's authors wrote.
They added that among the limitations of the study is the fact that the data are from only three healthcare delivery systems and may therefore not be "generalizable." However, in an editorial accompanying the article about the study, Joann Elmore, MD, MPH of the University of Washington in Seattle and Joshua Fenton, MD, of the University of California Davis in Sacramento, California wrote that "Concerns about the substantial risk of subsequent invasive procedures may possibly sway more women to choose initial mastectomy over breast-conserving surgery."