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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 8

of 'Approach to the patient following treatment for breast cancer'

8
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Effectiveness of routine visits and routine tests in detecting isolated locoregional recurrences after treatment for early-stage invasive breast cancer: a meta-analysis and systematic review.
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de Bock GH, Bonnema J, van der Hage J, Kievit J, van de Velde CJ
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J Clin Oncol. 2004;22(19):4010.
 
PURPOSE: To review the effectiveness of routine visits and routine tests in detecting isolated locoregional recurrences in asymptomatic patients after treatment for early-stage invasive breast cancer.
METHODS: Systematic review and meta-analysis. The proportion of isolated locoregional recurrences diagnosed during routine visits or routine tests in asymptomatic patients was compared with the proportion of isolated locoregional recurrences in symptomatic patients.
RESULTS: Twelve studies that involved a total of 5,045 patients and 378 isolated locoregional recurrences were identified. Pooling data showed an overall estimate of 40% of isolated locoregional recurrences diagnosed during routine visits or routine tests in asymptomatic patients (95% CI, 35 to 45). Of these, 47% (95% CI, 39 to 54) were diagnosed after mastectomy, and 36% (95% CI, 28 to 43) were diagnosed after breast-conserving therapy (relative risk, 1.327; 95% CI, 1.014 to 1.738). Apart from differences in therapy,we have not been able to discern subgroups of patients for whom results were different.
CONCLUSION: Approximately 40% of isolated locoregional recurrences are diagnosed during routine visits and routine tests in asymptomatic patients treated for early-stage invasive breast cancer. We could not assess whether these were detected by either physical examination or other tests, nor if the detection of asymptomatic isolated recurrences had any influence on potential for cure or quality of life. As the overall quality of the included studies and the overall incidence of isolated locoregional recurrences are low, this systematic review highlights the need for prospective comparative studies on cost-effective strategies for the follow-up of patients after a diagnosis of breast cancer.
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Department of Medical Decision Making, Leiden University Medical Center, PO Box 9600, 2300 RC Leiden, The Netherlands. G.H.de_Bock@LUMC.NL
PMID