There is currently no guidance on how to approach surveillance mammography for older breast cancer survivors, particularly when life expectancy is limited.
To develop expert consensus guidelines that facilitate tailored decision-making for routine surveillance mammography for breast cancer survivors 75 years or older.
After a literature review of the risk of ipsilateral and contralateral breast cancer events among breast cancer survivors and the harms and benefits associated with mammography, a multidisciplinary expert panel was convened to develop consensus guidelines on surveillance mammography for breast cancer survivors 75 years or older. Using an iterative consensus-based approach, input from clinician focus groups, and critical review by the International Society for Geriatric Oncology, the guidelines were refined and finalized.
The literature review established a low risk for ipsilateral and contralateral breast cancer events in most older breast cancer survivors and summarized the benefits and harms associated with mammography. Draft mammography guidelines were iteratively evaluated by the expert panel and clinician focus groups, emphasizing a patient’s risk for in-breast cancer events, age, life expectancy, and personal preferences. The final consensus guidelines recommend discontinuation of routine mammography for all breast cancer survivors when life expectancy is less than 5 years, including those with a history of high-risk cancers; consideration to discontinue mammography when life expectancy is 5 to 10 years; and continuation of mammography when life expectancy is more than 10 years. Individualized, shared decision-making is encouraged to optimally tailor recommendations after weighing the benefits and harms associated with surveillance mammography and patient preferences. The panel also recommends ongoing clinical breast examinations and diagnostic mammography to evaluate clinical findings and symptoms, with reassurance for patients that these practices will continue.
Conclusions and Relevance
It is anticipated that these expert guidelines will enhance clinical practice by providing a framework for individualized discussions, facilitating shared decision-making regarding surveillance mammography for breast cancer survivors 75 years or older.
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Freedman RA, Minami CA, Winer EP, et al. Individualizing Surveillance Mammography for Older Patients After Treatment for Early-Stage Breast Cancer: Multidisciplinary Expert Panel and International Society of Geriatric Oncology Consensus Statement. JAMA Oncol. 2021;7(4):609–615. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2020.7582
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