Don’t perform laboratory tests (including biochemical profile), imaging (chest x-rays, liver and pelvic ultrasound, PET, CT and radionuclide bone scans) or serum cancer markers for asymptomatic patients after surgery for breast cancer, in the absence of clinical signs.

Type of practice


Topic Area

Medical Oncology

Physical examination (medical examination) should be performed every 3-6 months for the first three years, every 6-12 months for the fourth and fifth year, and annually thereafter. In women undergoing breast-conserving surgery should be performed a bilateral mammography after treatment, one year after the initial one, and at least 6 months after completion of radiotherapy. Subsequently, unless otherwise indicated, a bilateral mammogram should be done every year.


1. J Clin Oncol. 2013 Mar 1;31(7):961-5. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2012.45.9859. Epub 2012 Nov 5.
2. The GIVIO investigators. Impact of follow-up testing on servival and health-related quality of life in breast cancer patients. A multicenter randomized controlled study JAMA 1994; 271: 1587-1592.
3. Palli D., RussoA, Saieva C, et al. Intensive versus clinical follow-up after treatment of primary breast cancer: 10-year update of a randomized trial. National Research Council Project on Breast Cancer Follow-up. JAMA 1999; 281:1586.
4. Hurria A, Leung D., Trainor K et al. Screening chest studies are not effective in the follow-up of breast cancer patients. J Oncol Manag 2003; 12: 13-15.

Attention. Please note that these items are provided only for information and are not intended as a substitute for consultation with a clinician. Patients with any specific questions about the items on this list or their individual situation should consult their clinician.