Comparing the Efficiency of Imaging Modalities in Detection of Recurrent Breast Cancer

Eur J Breast Health. 2023 Jan 1;19(1):85-91. doi: 10.4274/ejbh.galenos.2022.2022-10-1. eCollection 2023 Jan.


Objective: To investigate the effectiveness of the different imaging modalities in detecting recurrence in breast cancer follow-up.

Materials and methods: Sixty-four women with recurrent breast cancer were examined between January 2020 and July 2022. Recurrency was divided into four categories: local; regional; second primary; and distant metastasis. The detectability of recurrent lesions with mammography (MG), ultrasound (US) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), was evaluated. In addition, recurrences that firstly appeared by positron emission tomography (PET) scan were recorded.

Results: Twenty-seven (42.2%) recurrences were local, 10 (15.6%) were regional and 27 (42.2%) were second primary. Forty-six (71.9%) of them were determined to have invasive carcinoma, 8 (12.5%) were ductal carcinoma in situ, and 10 (15.6%) were axillary metastases. Eight (12.5%) of them were first diagnosed by PET-computed tomography/MRI. Among the available images performed, 78.7% could be detected pathologically by MG, 95.2% by US, and 100% by MRI. Distant metastasis associated with other types of recurrence was detected in 6 (9.4%) cases.

Conclusion: MRI is the most powerful imaging modality in detecting recurrent breast cancer. With the addition of US to routine MG follow-up, a higher rate and early detection of recurrent cancers can be achieved.

Keywords: Breast cancer; magnetic resonance imaging; mammography; recurrence; ultrasound.