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Regular breast cancer testing may help prevent many cases of cancer recurrence in survivors, according to a new study published in the journal Health Technology Assessment.
The University of Aberdeen researchers who conducted the study said there is currently a considerable amount of disagreement in the medical community over how frequently breast cancer survivors should be tested. On the one hand, diagnosing a recurrence early could catch a tumor when it is more treatable. However, extensive testing measures burden the healthcare system with high costs.
For the study, the researchers analyzed statistical models to determine the cost-benefit of regular breast cancer testing for women who have survived the condition. They found that it was most cost-effective to screen women after a year of successful treatment. Those who previously had high-risk cancer should continue to be screened regularly.
The researchers said their findings have important implications for the development of future breast cancer testing recommendations.
"Our research has the potential to influence the way in which follow up appointments are organized in the future," said Fiona Gilbert, who led the investigation.
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