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Guadalupe R. Palos, Katherine Gilmore, Patricia Chapman, Weiqi Bi, Paula Lewis-Patterson and Alma Maria Rodriguez

Background: NCCN Guidelines recommend annual mammography for surveillance in asymptomatic women diagnosed with breast cancer. There is limited evidence to support which type of mammogram—screening or diagnostic—should be ordered for asymptomatic breast cancer survivors. Our objective was to assess the referral patterns for mammograms in 2 breast clinics: survivorship (SC) and oncology (OC). Methods: A retrospective analysis of institutional databases was conducted to identify a convenience sample of women with limited invasive breast cancer who were (1) alive 5 years post-treatment and (2) seen at a SC or OC visit scheduled from January 1 to December 31, 2015. The primary outcome was women who received a diagnostic or screening mammogram during the 2015 calendar year. Demographic, clinical, and mammogram characteristics were also analyzed. Simple descriptive statistics were used to aggregate and compare data. Chi-square analysis tested for statistical significance. Results: A convenience sample of 354 cases was identified. Of those, 247 met the eligibility criteria for this analysis, SC=147 and OC=100. In this cohort, the mean age of diagnosis was 50.42 (±11.12), the majority were white (74.1%), and most received a diagnostic mammogram (64.4%). A greater proportion of diagnostic mammograms were ordered for women seen in OC (40.1%) vs SC (24. 3%). This finding was statistically significant (P=.00). Overall, 91.9 % of the mammogram results were negative and with a low proportion of “positive” (2.0%) or “need for additional imaging testing” (6.1%) reported. Recurrence rates in this cohort were also found to be low (1.6%). Conclusions: In this cohort, we found a difference in the type of mammogram ordered by providers in dedicated survivorship or medical oncology clinics. Our findings suggest that despite the greater use of diagnostic mammograms among this cohort of long-term breast cancer survivors, the overall proportion of positive findings, further imaging tests, or recurrence rates was low. It is concerning that many asymptomatic breast cancer survivors continue to receive a diagnostic mammogram as part of their surveillance visit. Further studies are needed to identify the emotional, financial, and physical toxicities associated with diagnostic mammograms.