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Following up breast cancer

Abstract

Breast cancer affects 1 in 12 women in Britain. Recurrence can occur long after initial treatment and most patients continue to attend a follow-up clinic lifelong. The National Screening Programme has helped make women aware of the importance of early detection, and inevitably more cancers will be discovered at an early stage, sometimes before they can be detected clinically.1 Current practices for following up breast cancer vary widely and advances in detection and treatment of early cancers (often conserving the breast)2 pose new challenges. What are the aims of follow-up and how best can they be achieved?

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