Fast Five Quiz: Key Aspects of Metastatic Breast Cancer

Elwyn C. Cabebe, MD


August 10, 2020

Women who had previous surgery for breast cancer may still require breast cancer screening with mammography. If a woman had a 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 she 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 baseline for the new postoperative and radiation changes. Thereafter, the mammogram may be performed every 6-12 months for screening and follow-up.

Women with breasts augmented by implants may be a particular challenge. Four special screening views are added to the four standard views. The implant must be pulled aside so that the underlying breast tissue can be imaged. MRI may be useful for assessing silicone implant integrity in this group of patients. MRI 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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