American Society of Clinical Oncology 2006 update of the breast cancer follow-up and management guidelines in the adjuvant setting

J Clin Oncol. 2006 Nov 1;24(31):5091-7. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2006.08.8575. Epub 2006 Oct 10.


Purpose: To update the 1999 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) guideline on breast cancer follow-up and management in the adjuvant setting.

Methods: An ASCO Expert Panel reviewed pertinent information from the literature through March 2006. More weight was given to studies that tested a hypothesis directly relating testing to one of the primary outcomes in a randomized design.

Results: The evidence supports regular history, physical examination, and mammography as the cornerstone of appropriate breast cancer follow-up. All patients should have a careful history and physical examination performed by a physician experienced in the surveillance of cancer patients and in breast examination. Examinations should be performed every 3 to 6 months for the first 3 years, every 6 to 12 months for years 4 and 5, and annually thereafter. For those who have undergone breast-conserving surgery, a post-treatment mammogram should be obtained 1 year after the initial mammogram and at least 6 months after completion of radiation therapy. Thereafter, unless otherwise indicated, a yearly mammographic evaluation should be performed. Patients at high risk for familial breast cancer syndromes should be referred for genetic counseling. The use of CBCs, chemistry panels, bone scans, chest radiographs, liver ultrasounds, computed tomography scans, [18F]fluorodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography scanning, magnetic resonance imaging, or tumor markers (carcinoembryonic antigen, CA 15-3, and CA 27.29) is not recommended for routine breast cancer follow-up in an otherwise asymptomatic patient with no specific findings on clinical examination.

Conclusion: Careful history taking, physical examination, and regular mammography are recommended for appropriate detection of breast cancer recurrence.

Publication types

  • Practice Guideline
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics
  • Breast Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Chemotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Expert Testimony
  • Female
  • Genetic Counseling
  • Humans
  • Mammography
  • Mass Screening / methods
  • Mass Screening / standards
  • Medical History Taking
  • Medical Oncology
  • Palpation
  • Physical Examination
  • Population Surveillance* / methods
  • Radiotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Referral and Consultation
  • Societies, Medical
  • Time Factors