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Stemmler, Hans-Joachim; Stieber, Petra; Laessig, Dorit; Bauerfeind, Ingo; Fasching, Peter; Beckmann, Matthias W.; Glattes, Margrit; Goldmann-Posch, Ursula; Hoffmann, Verena; Heinemann, Volker (2006): Follow-up for breast cancer - the patients' view. In: Breast Care, No. 5: pp. 316-319


Background: International and national guidelines (S3 guideline) for the surveillance of post-treatment breast cancer patients recommend a clinical follow-up including routine history and physical examination and regular mammograms. The practice of a clinical follow-up has been often discussed, but has been proven not to be inferior when compared to an intensified follow-up in randomized trials. Patients and Methods: The present manuscript reports the patients' view on the basis of a survey including 2000 patients with a history of breast cancer. Results: A total of 452 patients (22.6%) answered the questionnaire. The median age was 62 years (range 23-85 years). More than 80% of the patients were disease-free at the time of the survey. The need for surveillance was affirmed by the majority of patients (>95%), and one third stated that there was a need for more technical efforts during follow-up. In contrast to the follow-up guidelines, the results of the present survey indicated that most of the regularly scheduled follow-up visits were expanded using extensive laboratory and imaging procedures. Conclusion: This survey shows that the majority of physicians obviously do not accept the present follow-up guidelines. A new surveillance study investigating the efficacy of an intensified surveillance based on the improved possibilities of modern diagnostics and endocrine, immunotherapeutic, chemotherapeutic and interventional treatment options is warranted.