2008, Number 02
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ABSTRACTBreast cancer is a frequent neoplasm in Latin America. Its control implies surveillance for about 10 years after diagnosis. The possibilities of metastatic disease depend on stage at diagnosis and the treatment administered to the patient. It is important that all medical centers implement their own follow-up that fits its needs. Surveillance must include physical therapy, attention to psychosocial aspects as well as treatment for toxicity, secondary effects, recurrence and second primaries. The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) includes monthly self-examination, annual mammography, office visits every three months for the first three years, and then biannual visits for the next two years and then annually. Randomized studies and the Cochrane database have proved that intensive follow-up is of no value compared with periodic appointments and annual mammography. Existing evidence suggests that postoperative surveillance of breast cancer patients is extremely expensive, time consuming and of no benefit in terms of survival. Most of recurrences present out of context from follow up visits. Thus, efficacy of routine doctor visits is questionable and a prospective study is needed to outline the adequate strategy.
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