Breast cancer recurrence after lumpectomy and irradiation: role of mammography in detection

Radiology. 1992 Apr;183(1):201-6. doi: 10.1148/radiology.183.1.1312733.


Between 1977 and 1989, 102 of 1,145 patients treated with lumpectomy and radiation as an alternative to mastectomy required subsequent biopsy for suspected ipsilateral recurrence. The authors reviewed the mammograms of 58 of those patients for whom at least two sets of mammograms were available, including one set obtained within 3 months of the subsequent repeated biopsy. Of 38 biopsy-proved recurrences, 13 (34%) were detected with mammography alone, 17 (45%) with palpation alone, and eight (21%) with both mammography and palpation. While standard mammographic criteria for biopsy were followed, distortions and calcifications inherent to posttreatment appearances necessitated judicious modifications. As anticipated, sensitivities and positive predictive values showed more impairment within the lumpectomy quadrant. In addition, all cases of purely in situ cancer were detected solely with mammography. Mammography plays an important complementary role to physical examination in posttreatment follow-up. On the basis of these findings, a follow-up algorithm for the ongoing evaluation of these patients was developed.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biopsy
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Breast Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Breast Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Carcinoma in Situ / diagnostic imaging
  • Carcinoma in Situ / radiotherapy
  • Carcinoma in Situ / surgery
  • Carcinoma, Intraductal, Noninfiltrating / diagnostic imaging
  • Carcinoma, Intraductal, Noninfiltrating / radiotherapy
  • Carcinoma, Intraductal, Noninfiltrating / surgery
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mammography*
  • Mastectomy, Segmental*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / diagnostic imaging*
  • Palpation