Fast Five Quiz: Key Aspects of Metastatic Breast Cancer

Elwyn C. Cabebe, MD


December 02, 2021

Patients who have had surgery for breast cancer may still require breast cancer screening with mammography. If a patient had one breast surgically removed (total mastectomy), then continued annual screening of the other breast is recommended because the patient is at higher risk of developing cancer in the remaining breast. If the patient had subcutaneous or nipple-sparing mastectomy or partial mastectomy or lumpectomy, then annual screening is recommended for the treated breast. The first mammogram of the treated breast is often performed 6 months postoperatively to provide a new baseline after surgery and radiation. Thereafter, mammography may be scheduled every 6-12 months for screening and follow-up.

Patients with breast implants represent a particular imaging challenge. In such cases, four special screening views are added to the four standard mammographic views. The implant must be pulled aside so that the underlying breast tissue can be imaged. Although MRI may be useful for assessing silicone implant integrity in this group of patients, it is not recommended for screening of average-risk patients with implants. Rupture of saline implants can be determined with standard mammograms.

Learn more about mammography in breast cancer.


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