American Society for Radiation Oncology

View all recommendations from this society

Released September 15, 2014

Don’t routinely recommend follow-up mammograms more often than annually for women who have had radiotherapy following breast conserving surgery.

Studies indicate that annual mammograms are the appropriate frequency for surveillance of breast cancer patients who have had breast conserving surgery and radiation therapy with no clear advantage to shorter interval imaging.

Patients should wait 6-12 months after the completion of radiation therapy to begin their annual mammogram surveillance.

Suspicious findings on physical examination or surveillance imag ing might warrant a shorter interval between mammograms.


These items are provided solely for informational purposes and are not intended as a substitute for consultation with a medical professional. Patients with any specific questions about the items on this list or their individual situation should consult their physician.

How The List Was Created

1–5: Following approval of the participation of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) in the Choosing Wisely campaign, a survey was sent to ASTRO committees and panels related to health policy, government relations, and clinical affairs and quality in order to identify potential items for inclusion in the list. A work group, comprised of seven physicians drawn from these three areas, was also selected and convened. The work group members were asked to pick their top eight items from the total of 34 topics that had been suggested in the initial survey. The results were tabulated and a list of the highest scoring items generated, creating a short list of 13 draft items.

Three conference calls were subsequently held to further refine the list and finalize the wording of the items based on input from ASTRO’s Board of Directors. A literature review was conducted for each topic by ASTRO staff and each work group member took the lead on writing text and selecting references for one or more draft items. The final items for submission were selected by ASTRO’s Board of Directors. ASTRO’s disclosure and conflict of interest policy can be found at: www.astro.org.

6–10: In January 2014, the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) formed a group to develop its second Choosing Wisely list, which included representatives from health policy, government relations, and clinical affairs and quality. The work group began by narrowing a list of 28 draft concepts to nine potential Choosing Wisely items. Next, an electronic anonymous survey was sent to the ASTRO membership to rate the value and relevancy of each of the items. The survey also included an open text box for members to comment on the suggested items and to provide additional ideas for Choosing Wisely items. Based on the survey results, the work group submitted a short list of eight items to the ASTRO Board of Directors, from which the Board chose five items to move forward.

Literature reviews were conducted for the five Choosing Wisely items selected by the Board and the group drafted verbiage, bullet points and references for each item. Following a second review by the Board of Directors, one of the items was replaced with an alternate item from the short list. The final list received approval from the Board and was then submitted to the ABIM Foundation. ASTRO’s disclosure and conflict of interest policy can be found at: www.astro.org.

Sources

Khatcheressian JL. Breast cancer follow-up and management after primary treatment: an American Society of Clinical Oncology Clinical Practice Guideline Update. J Clin Oncol. 2013 Mar 1;31(7):961–5.

Grunfeld E .Cancer practice guidelines for the care and treatment of breast cancer: follow-up after treatment for breast cancer (summary of the 2005 update). CMAJ. 2005 May 10;172(10):1319–20.

Gradishar WJ. NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology. Breast Cancer. Version 3.2014.

Rojas MP. Follow-up strategies for women treated with early breast canc er. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2005;1:CD001768.

McNaul D, Darke M, Garg M, Dale P. An evaluation of post-lumpectomy recurrence rates: is follow-up every 6 months for 2 years needed? J Surg Oncol. 2013;107(6):597–601.