MD Anderson study evaluates need for biopsies during follow-up care in women with early breast cancer
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IMAGE: This is Henry Kuerer, M.D., Ph.D. view more 

Credit: MD Anderson Cancer Center

In an analysis of more than 120,000 women diagnosed with and treated for early-stage breast cancer, researchers from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center determined the rate of additional breast biopsies needed for these patients during their follow-up care.

The findings, reported in JAMA Surgery, are the first comprehensive nationwide population-based study regarding the need for breast biopsies performed during follow up after treatment for invasive breast cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, 252,710 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2017, and of those, 63,410 will have early-stage disease.

Research and data help physicians counsel women about breast cancer recurrence rates, how often cancer in one breast develops in the second breast. However, in a thorough review of the literature, no data offered clues about how often a patient, after having had breast cancer, will require a biopsy, explains Henry Kuerer, M.D., Ph.D., the study’s corresponding author.

“This is a genuine concern for patients. Many feel very anxious over the future need for biopsies and the potential of another diagnosis,” explains Kuerer. “Women will often choose a mastectomy rather than

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