Background: Breast cancer is one of the commonest cancers
in women in the UK and western countries . Follow ups after
breast cancer diagnosis is usual practice, but there is no agreed consensus among
breast care providers on frequency or duration of follow up after diagnosis and
adjuvant treatment. The aim of this study is to find out women’s views on the period
of the clinical follow up after breast cancer diagnosis. Method: This was a surveillance
study in Greenock and Glasgow in the UK (Between September 2009 and December 2010).
The study group comprised of 446 Women, 246 with the history of breast cancer diagnosed
1 - 10 years, (median 4.2 years) were asked to complete a questionnaire about
their views of preferred duration of follow up while they were waiting for the annual
review at a breast clinic, the same questionnaire was completed by 200 women with
no history of breast cancer. Results: Between September 2009 and December 2010,
246 patients were included in the study. 40% of patients were within the first three
years of follow up, 27% between the 4th and 6th year and 33% were in follow-up for
more than 6 years. 63% of cancer survivors think that, 10 years of follow up is
necessary for reassurance, detection and treatment of any new, recurrent or spread
of their breast cancer. 14% and 22% of women with a history of breast cancer preferred
3 and 5 years review by trained Radiologist/GP respectively. Women without a history
of breast cancer were different in their thoughts about follow up after breast cancer:
10%, 25%, and 30% chosen 10, 5 and 3 years, 35% preferred don’t know the answer. Conclusion:
Follow up programs for breast cancer survivors need to be organized, evidence based,
flexible and patient tailored. Patients’ views should be taken
into account when considering provision of follow-up care for breast cancer patients.
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